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.
Before becoming business partners, Jonathan and Lindsay Betz fell in love in the shadow of the St. Louis Arch. When they first met, John was just beginning a photography career while volunteering as a firefighter and Lindsay was a music therapist serving children with special needs. After their marriage, they both agreed that the perfect backdrop for their new life together needed more mountains and fewer geometry-inspired landmarks, so they went on road trips to find the perfect place to build a home and raise a family. They eventually landed in Colorado Springs, where their two children now frolic through grassy fields while Jonathan snaps photos amid the Rockies.
A member of the Professional Photographers of America, Jonathan's work has graced the pages of the New York Times. When he isn't capturing the candid smiles of high school seniors or families, or chronicling the happiest moments at weddings, he stays busy in the lab, retouching each image he captures to ensure that all colors are balanced and all Waldos are accounted for. He also hosts four-week, six-week, and one-day workshops, during which he fills students in on fundamental skills, image editing, and how to turn a photography hobby into a business.
Whether capturing newlyweds and their families, parents and children, or a tree reaching for the skies atop a rocky cliff, photographer Robert Villena eschews traditional posing and straightforward composition for a candid, photojournalistic style. He often shoots from unique angles, such as over a subject's shoulder or underneath a pair of clasped hands, and renders his images in vibrant colors or heavily contrasting black and white. He further enhances shots with bold lighting effects and frames compositions to emphasize his subjects' unique characteristics, such as a rock formation's size or a human's lack of bat wings. When not helming on-location shoots for wedding and landscape photography, he often educates others on his photographic technique and style through on-location workshops for both beginners and advanced amateurs.
In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their child’s development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
An active Denver photographer since 1985, Bart Levy imparts hard-won wisdom to aspiring photographers in upbeat, three- or four-hour workshops. In these workshops, the seasoned shutterbug demystifies DSLR cameras, teaching pupils how to harness ISO speeds, manual settings, and flash settings to produce crisp, memorable images of lens caps. Students also learn how to compose visually striking snapshots and Levy will also demonstrate the differences in digital file formats, so acolytes can upload and share pictures without setting their web browsers on fire.
The FAC, which houses the Taylor Museum of Art, Bemis School of Art, and SaGāJi Theatre, was renovated in 2007 to incorporate a sparkling glass corridor, expand exhibition spaces, and update theatre sound and lighting systems. With a family membership, you'll get free admission to all the museum's galleries, early registration and $15 off classes at the Bemis School, discounts on FAC Theatre Company productions, discounts on events, and more (click here to see a complete list of member benefits.) This Groupon also includes four guest passes for introducing Byzantine–mosaic enthusiasts or Transylvanian werewolves to the Taylor Museum's Latin American, American–Indian, modern–American, and American–American artwork.