Arthur Murray Dance Studios has been a leading name in social dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with certified instructors. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
John Hand had a theory: for any problem a person might have, someone in their local community has a solution. To that end, he founded Colorado Free University, continuing a tradition that began with the Denver Free University of the 1970s and early '80s. Whereas the Denver Free University was created as a political move to make education more accessible, the Colorado incarnation sets its sights on simple personal betterment, becoming more of a learning network than a school. All of its teachers are independent contractors culled from the local community, and together they helm skill-based and enrichment classes for adults, spanning a range of artistic, humanitarian, and business disciplines.
Students can receive training in foreign languages or ASL, business or digital marketing, or acting, visual arts, or woodworking. The school's facilities also accommodate CompuSkills computer-training classes, which progress from basic sessions in computer operation to advanced sessions in photoshopping a ghost out of a family portrait. There are cooking classes, foreign language courses, and style classes, all of which turn out well-rounded pupils. The campus's 89-seat John Hand Theater, meanwhile, hosts intimate performances from local Firehouse Theater Company and Spotlight Theatre Company.
Future rock stars and renowned orchestra players could very well be picking up their first instruments at Mile High Academy of Music LLC. In its studio, instructors teach novice and intermediate students to sing and play all sorts of instruments, from guitar to trombone to violin. After one year of instruction, the teachers let musical pupils in grades 4?8 rehearse and perform in an ensemble, where they discover that applause grants every musician the gift of flight.
With programs that often combine group and private instruction, TG Danzport Studio gives dancers the opportunity to hone their skills before learning to dance alongside other couples. Six styles of dancing range from Country Swing to Samba, and cater to all abilities, especially beginners. Private lessons for kids are also available to develop rhythm and coordination.
"I basically live, eat, and breathe music," says Strum and Sip owner Christopher Bloom. A 27-year veteran guitar player, Bloom already had 15 years of teaching experience and his own production studio when he had the idea to open Strum & Sip with some friends. Setting up shop at local watering holes, the guitar virtuosos cultivate a laid-back ambiance where students can sip their favorite drink while teaching their fingers new chord shapes or plucking patterns and learning songs to serenade people at a family gathering or congressional filibusters.
The faculty members at the School of Rock believe that immersion is the best way to learn any new skill, which is why they don’t just teach students how to traverse the notes and rhythms of guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and vocals in isolation. In addition to teaching students the technical skills during one-on-one lessons, the professional music instructors push them to fuse their individual parts into songs during full band practices with fellow beginner rockers. This combination of one-on-one attention and cooperative group learning helps kids of all skill levels hone their craft while overcoming common pitfalls such as stage fright or playing off-tempo. As kids learn to shred riffs, pound out drum solos, and summon Ronnie James Dio by hitting the correct vibrato atop a silver mountain, the classes build their confidence and kick-start a lifetime of loving rock 'n' roll.