Chicago couple ballroom dancing through pandemic results in engagement

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CHICAGO — During this season of social distance, slow dancing might seem like the last activity anyone would be enjoying.  

But at the famous Arthur Murray dance studio in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, owner Amy Novotny was determined to keep people on the dance floor.   

“When all this hit and they said, ‘shut your doors. You can’t do your thing anymore. We don’t have a delivery service. We don’t have a product that’s a physical ‘buy online.’  We don’t have the ability to teach in person in that moment. We’ve really got to get creative,” Novotny said.  

They moved classes to the sidewalk, cordoned off the ballroom for couples and used hoola hoops and gloves to keep contact to a minimum. 

One couple actually started taking lessons and ended up getting engaged.

The studio has kept the ballroom cordoned off for couples. Andrea Butler and her fiancé Jerome Jordain are dancing through the pandemic.

“We knew each other by the end, and so yeah, we ended up getting engaged. Surprise!,” Butler said. 


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