Trendsetter to Know: Holly Udy-Meekin, Owner of Arthur Murray Dance Center

Name: Holly Udy-Meekin

Facebook: @arthurmurray

Instagram: @phoenixarthurmurray

Title: Owner/Franchisee Arthur Murray Dance Center, Phoenix

A typical day in my life: I start each day with the training and betterment of my dance instructors. We review the students’ progress, projects and plan for upcoming events. We discuss customer service and making our studio the best place to learn to dance in Phoenix.

I was born… in Hopewell, N.J.

My favorite thing about Arizona: I love Phoenix—living in a big-small town! (12 minutes from the airport). I love the weather here, the sun and the heat. Being from NJ and its bitter winters, I’m always reminded I don’t have to scrape sunshine off my windshield!

I’m listening to: Any new music that you can dance to! I love keeping popular new music in our studio for the students to dance to. I love Ted Talks, and I always listen to NPR news to keep abreast of what’s happening in the world.

My family: Is the center of my world. My husband Harry is my business manager, accountant and rock. He has the highest integrity of anyone I know, and  inspires me to be the best person I can be.   My son Trenton is a naval officer stationed in Hawaii, directing a cryptologic warfare team.   My daughter Jade just graduated from Purdue University  with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and is involved with the Purdue ballroom dance team.  I have 1 dog, 2 cats, 3 fish, 1 lizard, 1 desert tortoise and 2 horses.

If I could have dinner with anyone it would be: My late father. He passed away several years ago. I never felt I had enough time with him. 

One thing I can’t live without: Music! It brings me  joy. I have such eclectic taste, but if it’s music you can dance to, I like it even more!

When I was younger: I wanted to be a lawyer. I discovered early on that I would find more joy out of life by teaching people to dance than dealing with the drama and hostility that lawyers face everyday. 

I’m inspired by: The people of the Ukraine. Even though they have so much crisis and sadness and loss in their lives right now, they persevere and continue to find joy and strength in each other. 

The one person that motivates me: Myself! Everyday I kick it in gear in hopes to make a difference in people’s lives through dancing.

If I could change anything in the world it would be… that everyone in the world could dance, and dance together. I would want people in the world to communicate through dance, the universal language.

The perfect day would be: When I’m with my entire family, sitting down having dinner together. A close second would be attending the Arthur Murray Dance-O-Rama and taking home all of the top trophies!

My first job was: a lifeguard and a diving coach.

My favorite escape: To head up to Northern Arizona. Its beauty is unsurpassable, and the climate change is cool and welcoming. The vastness of the landscape helps put life in perspective for me.

My life is: Amazing! Everyday I see the joy that our students receive from learning to dance. I see them grow in confidence and ability to enjoy any social situation. I hear great music playing in the ballroom and I’m surrounded by an awesome inspiring staff. On top of that, I have the most supportive husband and family I could ever dream of.

Currently I’m working on: A showcase of dancing for our students to  show off their choreography and skills.

Always: Be Kind, Be Ethical, Be Patient.

Never: Let the joy go out of your life.

Favorite Quote: Nonsense is good sense in disguise.

Biggest Dream: To see my children and my staff grow into the people I see they are capable of being. To be the light, and give direction to them to complete their dreams!

My pet peeve: Hypocrisy 

Bio: I am Holly Udy-Meekin, franchisee of the Arthur Murray Dance Center in Phoenix, AZ. I’ve been with Arthur Murray Dance Studios for 40 years, starting as a student in the Phoenix studio in 1982, then becoming an instructor, an executive and finally purchasing the studio in 1997. My career has included professional dance championships, Pro-Am competition awards, training students and staff alike in the art of ballroom rhythm, Latin and smooth dancing. My studio has received numerous Top Studio trophies, awarded by Arthur Murray international Inc. for our scores and performances at major dance competitions throughout the country. I am a business owner, wife, mother and mentor to my staff. I treasure my family and my dance studio family as well, for they all are the main source of my joy.

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