• Home

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Secrets of Dancing for True Men

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a very famous world-wide recognizable person with ideal figure that any professional bodybuilder dreams about, acknowledged movie star that played in top rated best-sellers of 20th and 21st centuries, such as Terminator, Predator, Total Recall. There are many articles about his biography that covers different parts of his career, business and politics. But we want to reveal his other side that has been intentionally or rather accidentally concealed from the public: it is the dancing! Below we gathered photos, videos and information about the reasons why Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to take dance classes, what exactly he learnt and of course you will see him in real action!

Tough Men Don’t Dance

It’s quite a famous saying that real men do not dance. Being a funny saying in some comedies, in real life some men truly believe in it and follow as a rule or recommendation. Some people think that a real macho man should possess specific features of character and behavior such as being strong, firm and sexually brutal, always look hard and cool. Dancing is not in the list, sometimes it’s even considered to be non-masculine activity. Such thoughts are usually generated by men who don’t dance because they can’t. Of course, if a man doesn’t have the right skills and experience, dancing can ruin his cool image and he will look like ordinary people or even worst if he can barely move his feet on the dance floor. It’s a funny prejudication that some men also use as an excuse for their ladies if they don’t want to dance with them.

We believe that every person can dance and enjoy it. Even complete pessimists and confident adherents who think that “dancing is evil” or “they are not born and suited for dancing” actually have another opinion deep in their heart which looks like “if ifs and ans were pots and pans”. Some people learn dancing faster, for others it’s a more complicated science, but taking good dance classes in professional dance school with experienced dance teacher is a guaranteed way to become a dance star in any dance club or party. Read more about the Dance Horoscope which reveals how people of various Zodiac Signs dance, and what are their unique dancing character traits. Group dance classes for adults can be a good choice for newbies to start with.

Ok, but what about tough men like bodybuilders and weight-lifters who are really big and can weight over 100 kg (220 lbs)? They have a well-developed muscular system and look massive and wide, and probably require more space for themselves on a dance floor. Could it be a problem for heavily crowded environments or contraindication for dancing in general? Of course not! Below we will reveal the secrets of Arnold Schwarzenegger and answer to the question why dancing and choreography is important for bodybuilders.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dance Lessons

Arnold Schwarzenegger, nicknamed the "Austrian Oak" in his bodybuilding days, "Arnie" during his acting career, and "The Governator" - a combination of "Governor" and "The Terminator" during his political career, why would he ever take dance classes? The first answer that may come to one’s mind is that Arnie took the dance classes in order to play some role in a movie that requires him to perform some dancing figures. Such idea looks logical and it’s almost true, but it’s rather more related to bodybuilding than cinema.

Arnold Schwarzenegger began weight training at the age of 15. He won the Mr. Universe title at age 20 and went on to win the Mr. Olympia contest seven times. Schwarzenegger has remained a prominent presence in bodybuilding and has written many books and articles on the sport. He is widely considered to be among the greatest bodybuilders of all time as well as bodybuilding's biggest icon. Probably that’s the reason why the most famous athlete was chosen to play the main role in “Pumping Iron” movie – a docudrama about the world of bodybuilding, focusing on the 1975 IFBB Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia competitions. Arnold Schwarzenegger won the Mr. Olympia title in 1975 for the sixth consecutive time and he plays himself in the film. The film nominally focuses on the competition between Arnold Schwarzenegger and one of his primary competitors for the title of Mr. Olympia, Lou Ferrigno. The film also features brief segments focusing on bodybuilders Franco Columbu and Mike Katz, in addition to appearances by Ken Waller, Ed Corney, Serge Nubret, and other famous bodybuilders of the era.

We mentioned the “Pumping Iron” movie not coincidentally. Probably it was the first and only time when we have actual evidence and photos that Arnold Schwarzenegger took dance lessons for his bodybuilding career. For those, who are not familiar with competitive bodybuilding, we will describe what it is. The bodybuilders appear in lineups doing specified poses, and later perform individual posing routines, for a panel of judges who rank the competitors based on criteria such as symmetry, muscularity and conditioning. Bodybuilders prepare for competitions through a combination of intentional dehydration, elimination of nonessential body fat and carbohydrate loading to achieve maximum vascularity, as well as tanning to accentuate muscular definition.

In order to win the competition, a participant must have a good physical shape achieved during trainings in gym and also must show himself properly. The latter is also a very important reason for success. And that’s the reason why Arnold Schwarzenegger joined ballet and choreography workouts. It helped him to prepare and sharpen his poses and present himself in the best way. Marianne Claire was his dancer and trainer, who prepared him in New York City, 1976. Below are the unique black and white photos from his ballet workout, when Arnie was young in the age of 29.


It’s a very important advice for those who plan to participate in bodybuilding competitions. Don’t forget to pay attention to your posing and choreography. It will help you to get more points and higher rankings.

Arnold Schwarzenegger takes choreography lessons
Arnold Schwarzenegger dances Tango with Tia Carrere. Dancing is a must for every special agent!

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Recreational Dancing

Mr. Schwarzenegger had workouts in the dance studio of New York not for fun, it was required to improve his professional skills and prepare for the competition as bodybuilder. However, Arnold doesn’t avoid dancing in real life, beyond the stage. He truly loves and enjoys dancing. If you are a careful observer or a fun of Arnie, you probably could notice that. For example, it became a tradition when Arnold Schwarzenegger perform Waltz with Sylvester Stallone in Cannes Film Festival.

Arnold Schwarzenegger dancing with Sylvester Stallone in Cannes Film Festival, 1990
Arnold Schwarzenegger dancing with Sylvester Stallone in Cannes Film Festival, 1990.
Arnold Schwarzenegger dancing with Sylvester Stallone in Cannes Film Festival at the premiere party for the action movie The Expendables 3, 2014.
Arnold Schwarzenegger dancing with Sylvester Stallone in Cannes Film Festival at the premiere party for the action movie “The Expendables 3”, 2014.

We also have some funny entertainment videos with Arnold Schwarzenegger. One of them is his dance performance with Joe Manganiello at “106 & Park”, American hip hop and R&B music video show. Another one is a prank which is not related to dancing, but is really funny!

Arnold Schwarzenegger dancing at “106 & Park” show
Arnold Schwarzenegger Pranks Fans as the Terminator...for Charity

The Conclusion

Dancing can have different applications and some of them can be unobvious. Who could imagine that Arnold Schwarzenegger did take choreography and ballet lessons from dancers for his bodybuilding career? We always say that dancing is a vast area and is a fount for opportunities. We wrote about why dancing is important for kids, about dance fitness and workout, and now it’s time to indicate that dancing is also important for bodybuilders. No matter what aim or purpose you have, we can fulfil your dancing needs. Our dance studio in Dubai offers a broad range of dance lessons for kids, individual adults and couples. We prepare personal educational programs, offer different training formats, and have a strong staff: professional dancers and winners of international competitions, experienced dance teachers, creative choreographers, etc. We will be glad to guide you through the world of dancing and help you to choose dancing activity that you will enjoy. Contact us now to get more information.

Contact Us

Sign up for your first dance lesson!

Call us 04 552 01 53

Chat via Whatsapp

Submit your question online

Map, print, driving directions, etc.


  • Barsha Heights (formerly TECOM), Grosvenor Business Tower
  • 23rd floor, Studio 2306
  • P.O. Box: 391484, Dubai, UAE

Working hours:

  • Tuesday to Friday from 01:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Mondays off