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.
Every performer has a different goal. Recognizing this, the teaching staff at Academy of the Arts-Denver (each a professional in his or her respective field) designs all of their lesson plans around their students' individual goals. These highly personalized plans shape the approach to the school's age-specific, professional and recreational group acting and vocal classes. The teaching staff also uses their 75 years of accumulated experience to focus on talent development, whether students want to break into the business, or perform for the joy of it. Private lessons help build proficiency in guitar, bass, drums, and music production. Though lessons focus on specific technical training, the teachers encourage creative experimentation no matter the genre. Former students have established careers in TV, Broadway, Film, and Music. As they learn, Academy of the Arts-Denver's students are also encouraged to take part in rehearsals and performances.
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is situated in the center of downtown’s thriving theater district. As the second largest performing arts center in the world, the Performing Arts Complex is a drama queen’s (or king’s) nirvana. There are many dazzling spaces within the dramatically designed, glass-roofed complex, including Boettcher Concert Hall, home to the Colorado Symphony; the Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre, which showcases many Broadway touring companies; and the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. In addition, you’ll find a Tony Award-winning theater company, the Seawell Grand Ballroom and many more performance stages. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts also holds events in the Complex’s outdoor Sculpture Park, and hosts community acting classes and educational events at next door’s Newman Center for Theatre Education. The Complex boasts more than 10,000 seats, with exceptional acoustics in every theater, and is a first-class theatrical emporium for cultured audiences.
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.
Jessica Mason developed an interest for dance in high school as a member of her school's nationally ranked varsity pom team. That interest eventually evolved into a passion, which helped her launch a professional dancing career that includes strutting as a Colorado Rapids cheerleader and a Denver Nuggets dancer. Today, she is the director of Studio 21 Dance, where she uses her 19 years of dance instruction experience to oversee a team of instructors with more than 75 years of combined dance instruction experience. The dance instructors, who've worked with prominent clients including Olympic athletes and So You Think You Can Dance participants, lead classes that cover dance styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop and belly dance. Students as young as 2 years old can partake in the classes, teaching their bodies how to bust a move or bust open an unsuspecting piñata.
From basement beginnings to their own bona fide theatre space, the Bovine Metropolis Theater has nourished the improv community of Denver for over a decade. Co-owner and artistic director Eric Farone, who cut his comedic chops at famed Chicago institutions such as Second City and iO, and his cohort Denise Maes, have trained over 700 actors in the art of improvisation. Now with seven different shows and up to eight performances per week, the Bovine Metropolis Theater ensures that Denver never has a drought of quick-witted, off-the-cuff talent.