Recognized by Examiner.com as one of Denver's top five hidden theater gems in 2010, the intimate John Hand Theater seats guests close enough to the action to absorb every line and offer hugs to actors after particularly emotional scenes.
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.
Gayle Lynne first took to the sky when she was 53, and was instantly hooked. Her dancing and ice-skating experience hadn’t prepared her for the joys of careening through the air on silks and hoops, but she quickly picked up on the skills, and was inspired to create a studio in which adults and children of all ages could also explore the sky. So Aerial Dance Over Denver was born, hosting air-borne maneuvers with 35 rigging points and seven aerial stations.
Gayle handpicked a fleet of experienced instructors, each primed with a background in dance, to lead students through classes and camps that introduce them to silk fabrics, trapeze work, and contortions—in which patrons increase their flexibility and learn to cram into small spaces, such as an unsuspecting family member's lunch box. Dangling from their material of choice, students perform a routine that builds strength and flexibility, scaled to suit beginners with slow and low maneuvers or veteran airborne artists with high-flying choreography.
For 25 years, World of Dance has taught ballroom dances including the cha-cha, waltz, salsa, and foxtrot to students whose skill levels range from recreational to competitive. The studio’s approach is simple yet effective. Students typically start with one-on-one or group lessons so they can learn techniques and basic body positions. They then apply what they’ve practiced during the studio’s regular dance parties, performing the waltz to demonstrate their graceful new moves or the tango to fulfill their latent desires to chew on roses.
Voodoo Comedy Playhouse’s resident yuksters split sides four days a week, oscillating between stand-up acts, improv shows, and celebrity impersonation revues. On Saturday nights, The Fine Gentlemen’s Club opens its stately gates for a retinue of solo joke-tellers, lobbing laugh-bombs at audiences still crooning choruses from Hit and Run’s Friday night musical improv. Chuckling companions may also rain roses on Makeshift Shakespeare’s all-male cadre of bard-minded barnstormers, who deftly fuse the rich, florid prose of Shakespeare with a soupçon of gut-busting improv. Alternatively, guests can opt for a late-night lark at the Divalicious Cabaret, which raucously parades the spitting images of such fetching celebrities as Cher, Beyoncé, and Snuffaluffagus. Suds and spirits from a full-service bar irrigate arid laugh lairs as performers tread the boards beneath Voodoo’s pristine, ultramodern theater set-up.
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.