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.
At the Colorado Academy of Music and Dance, experienced instructors cultivate students' passion for the performing arts. Kids aged 2?4 hone their coordination, balance, and rhythm skills in group dance classes that include tap, jazz, and ballet programs, and adults burn calories in adult-only sessions. Students of any age can build their endurance and flexibility with high-energy Brazilian capoeira?a mix of martial arts, dance, and acrobatics?sessions that also include instruction on speaking basic Portuguese and playing Afro-Brazilian instruments. The facility's sprung floors with professional marley surfaces help prevent injury and protect joins by absorbing dancers' impact.
The academy's university-trained music teachers conduct private lessons for youngsters seeking to learn the guitar, study singing, or play the mandolin at a local battle of the medieval bands. Parents can sit in on the lesson or access complimentary wireless Internet as they relax in the spacious waiting area.
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.
Total-body health and well-being requires a balanced fitness approach that incorporates different types of training. With more than 20 years of experience as a nurse and a fitness instructor, Amy Melnick Immel believed in that idea so strongly that she made it the guiding mission of Sound Body Sound Mind Fitness when she founded the studio.
The group classes draw inspiration from various workout regimens, allowing a combination of classes to provide a more well-rounded approach to improving a member's physical and mental health. Cardio-intensive kickboxing sessions and indoor-cycling workouts help get pulses racing while strengthening hearts. Pilates and dance-inspired stretching sessions forge cast-iron cores and lean, toned muscles. For a more strength-oriented focus, the instructors also lead outdoor boot camps and classes that use barbell lifts to work major muscle groups across the body and teach students what to do if they come across a dumbbell while on a nature hike.
Sound Body Sound Mind Fitness is also home to a number of Fitwalls: technologically advanced, wall-mounted equipment that provides vertical training that uses students' body weight as resistance. Throughout workouts, the equipment tracks each person's muscle activity in real-time and controls intensity by altering the room's gravity.
The owner and senior instructor of Boulder Spirals, Sasha Viers earned a BFA in drama at New York University under the tutelage of Stella Adler. After graduating, she focused her love of movement into dance and mastered modern dance, barre technique, and lyrical jazz, among other techniques and styles. The physically demanding disciplines left her with persistent injuries that forced her to acknowledge that the pursuit of a career as a professional dancer would be too challenging. In the wake of this realization, she explored yoga and Pilates, but it was at her husband's urging that she tried pole dancing. Sasha fell in love with the blend of sensuality and strength that the art required, and she pursued that passion relentlessly, resulting in the inception of Boulder Spirals.
At her studio, she has assembled a team of talented dancers and instructors who have mastered their respective modality, be it burlesque, hip-hop, or belly dancing. The troupe has designed their courses to foster self-confidence in women of all skill and fitness levels. Their class list boasts dance-fitness classes varied enough to help students achieve almost any physical desire short of actually becoming a pole.