Moving to the mantra, “Where performance comes from within,” Urban Beat Dancers molds students of all ages into confident, sure-footed individuals. The facility begins a new four-week program at the beginning of each month, with two classes per week tiered into five different age groups. During those classes, instructors teach a blended mix of jazz and hip-hop, making sure to squeeze in important life skills during sessions for younger students.
Pick up a copy of Boise Weekly, flip open the Idaho Statesman, or tune in to Boise State Public Radio, and you might catch Ophidia Studio’s owner, Allison Holley, spreading the gospel of pole dancing. "It feels fun," she told Boise State Public Radio's Scott Ki. "It's kind of like playing on a jungle gym, and adults don't get that chance." Along with a coterie of experienced instructors, Allison casts off the bad rap of an activity that she says some see as "demeaning or degrading" in pole-dancing classes that build fitness and self-confidence in a playful atmosphere. Inside a hot-pink studio peppered with stationary and spinning poles, Allison and her crew walk students of all levels through a number of creative pole-dancing moves, beginning with spins and working up to inversions, choreography routines, and ceiling-fan impersonations.
Their expertise doesn’t stop there, though. The instructors also offer an arsenal of other sensual classes such as belly-dancing, hoop dancing, poi fire dancing, and Curvesque, which helps whittle waists and define the feminine form through fluid, dance-inspired movements. They also offer the more-traditional fitness classes of Zumba and body blast, along with yoga and its elevated counterpart—aerial yoga, which suspends students in a fabric sling hung from the ceiling.
Like many dancers, Echo Waldron-Noble discovered her passion in her youth, and has spent a lifetime perfecting her art with professional troupes such as the Idaho Dance Theatre, Ballet West, and the Off Center Dance Project. When not busy wowing audiences on stage, she honed her teaching skills as an adjunct faculty member of dance at Boise State University. Inspired to share her love of the art and build a lasting appreciation for it in her community, she opened the Echo School of Dance in 2011.
Inside the modern studio, Echo and her teachers educate children and adults with tiered classes that group peers by expertise level, helping students focus on basic or advanced techniques that are both challenging and fun. Classes regularly culminate in performances by students, including a holiday program, full spring recital, and regular flash mobs at local weddings.
At Inner Diva, ladies learn to tone, love, and flaunt their body in a supportive, nonjudgmental environment. Instructors target thighs, abs, and arms with free flowing aerobic dance classes, and shout out instructions and encouragements during lively Zumba dance parties.