Class of 2010





Marilyn Ellis

Marilyn Ellis, a resident of Valparaiso, Indiana had always wanted to dance, but it wasn’t until her husband suddenly passed away that she decided she needed something for herself. She was looking through the paper one day and had found an ad that Arthur Murray’s was teaching a class at the Valparaiso Banta Center. Marilyn decided to attend the class and also an introductory lesson in the process. She absolutely loved the introductory lesson because of the way she had been treated. After that, she became an official student in the studio and started the beginning to her “new life” as she calls it.

Marilyn started her dancing at Arthur Murray’s in the summer of 1992. Due to personal obstacles she couldn’t consistently attend her lessons at the beginning. Later on in 2004, she returned after a few absences to the dancing life that she loves and is incredibly dedicated to. The dancing at Arthur Murray’s has filled her social life, physical life, and intellectual life. She states, “This has been the best thing I’ve ever done cause I get to dress up, and in the process, get to meet so many amazing students and instructors.” Marilyn always loves coming on friday nights to the Practice Parties and to Showcases because she feels “on top of the world” and “so accomplished.” Also she is grateful for the Arthur Murray Medalist System with its professional checkouts that are done to keep her having a goal to strive for in her dancing. She says very simply that everybody should dance for all the experiences that she has already gotten out of her dancing. The last level that Marilyn has checked out in is Gold II, making her one of our most accomplished dancers to date.

Her hobbies include dancing, spending time with her family of five grandchildren, four children, and two great-grandchildren, reading non-fiction books, gardening, taking care of her apartment, cooking, and loves traveling. Marilyn is a retired elementary school teacher. She holds season tickets to the opera as well as the chicago symphony for her love of classical music. She appreciates rock and roll, pop, also likes some country, but most importantly she wants to appreciate all music more through her love of dancing.  We feel fortunate to have Marilyn as a great student and wonderful ambassador for the Merrillville Arthur Murray Studio.    IMG_5735

Linda Kilander

Linda Kilander, of Chesterton Indiana, is currently the only student in the history of the Merrillville studio to check out of all 4 levels of Bronze, Silver, & Gold, an amazing accomplishment that literally took over a decade to achieve, and it shows in her dancing!  Linda began dancing at Arthur Murray’s to help “put some fun in her life” after the unfortunate passing of her husband.  She was literally cleaning her home by herself one afternoon, with music playing in the background, when she stopped and said aloud “I need to be dancing”.  With that, she picked up the phone, and called us – we are so glad she did.

Linda has been a great student and an ambassador for the studio over the years.  She has served as President of USA Dance (formerly USABDA – United States Amateur Ballroom Dance Association) in NW Indiana, and was a Spanish instructor with the Chesterton School District.  Once Linda began dancing, she began what she has come to refer to as “her second life”… And what an amazing one it has been and continues to be!

Linda discovered something about her self, she loves to perform, and she does it well.  Linda has performed in countless routines over the years, covering every major dance in the Arthur Murray syllabus.  She also enjoys a variety of music from Latin artists to Sinatra, with the main requirement being, “it has to have a great beat and be fun to dance to”.  She wants to continue to dance for fun and exercise, and understands that, as long as you are interested, their is always more to learn about dancing, it never gets dull… A well deserved congratulations to one of our charter Hall of Fame Inductees, Linda Kilander.