The 2017 Arthur Murray All Star Spotlight: Arin Crumley
Then again, the first one my not really even count.
Here we get a chance to find out what actually happened last year, what's different now, and what this All Star semi-finalist has learned in the process.
What is the AM All Star Competition?
The Arthur Murray All Stars, officially referred to as the George B. Theiss All Star Competition for the late president of the company, is a skills competition for every level of professional within each location around the world. The goal is to grow, develop, and reveal the professionals that demonstrate the best customer service, communication, problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork skills. The competition begins in each studio and winners advance to small region, or District, competitions. From there the District winners advance to the large region, or Area, competition. Finally, the Area winners advance to the World Championships in Las Vegas where each Area team tests and one team is pronounced the winner.
More importantly, the real winners are the students of the Arthur Murray Dance Studios as these tests, and accompanying training, help to deliver better communication, teamwork, problem solving, and confidence from every member of the staff.
AML: What's your All-Star experience been like so far?
AC: Last year it was pretty confusing, to be honest. I was only a few months into my career and I was put in a testing situation that felt impossibly hard to decipher and I just kept thinking about how it was a training situation, but it wasn't real, and was trying to look for what I thought they wanted.
I didn't make it past the first round.
This year I've now made it through three rounds and the experience has been really positive. The difference is that now I'm treating the situations like they are real.
I'm actually using what I learned when I attended acting class in New York City. The approach is to trick part of my mind into suspending its disbelief about the training simulation, and then tap what is earnest and true about myself and express that in the test.
AML: What was you reaction to learning that you advanced?
AC: I was excited because I knew it gave me a shot at flying to Seattle early which I know happened last year to my admin and counselor and we were all happy for them at the time. And then people started saying I had a chance at going to Vegas which got me more excited.
In fact, I have a student I'd really like to go to Vegas to compete, and she heard through the announcement on arthurmurraylive.com that I'd been selected, and have a chance in Vegas. So it was fun to have conversations where we imagined that we both go to Vegas to compete (in our respective competitions)... and maybe both win.
AML: How do you think The All-Star Competition helps the AM Industry?
AC: Students coming up to me at the studio to congratulate me and compliment my teaching in front of other students really helps instill confidence in the teachers that are being recognized. Also, many instructors have backgrounds in sports and/or the arts, so competitions come fairly naturally for most. It gives everyone a chance to tap into their competitive side to try to excel and be great. There is no way that wouldn't help our company.
AML: What would be your nightmare All-Star round?
AC: If the AC broke and I was dehydrated and my brain stopped working from the heat and then I to navigate a testing simulation where the student is explaining why they have to quit dancing and I'm supposed to demonstrate the equivalent of CPR skills on a dying dance program.
AML: How will you train for the next event?
A: Use my students and fellow instructors to practice the All-Star training so they become habit rather than memorized material.
B: Read and re-read the training packet.
C: Rehearse with teammates who are competing from our area.
D: Continue to brainstorm the big ideas that I want to communicate to the world. Asking myself what the value of dancing is for the world, and what is the value of this kind of community to peoples' lives.
Keep reaching into the wellspring of reasons for people to be here.
And just keep striving for an ever more true and poignant reason for dancing opportunities to exist in the world. And then practice bringing those inspired thoughts into my conversations with students and, hopefully, into the testing.
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