Dancing in Boulder

by Jim Harrington

Maybe it is the altitude, something in the air or in their blood but Boulderites love to dance! Touring musicians remark how easy it is to get a Boulder audience to move on the dance floor. Maybe that is why a Gallup-Healthways poll ranked Boulder as one of the happiest places in the country.

Opportunities to dance abound with indoor and outdoor music concerts, dance studios, dance and movement awareness classes. Even when they are the only ones who can hear the music you will see Boulderites ‘dance walking’ or ‘silent disco dancing’ around town. It is fun to watch dance, and it is fun to watch the watcher. To see an audience begin to tap their fingers, move their feet and before they know it to have subtly joined the dance they had been viewing from afar! All dancing, including peoples still small movements from within, is welcome in Boulder.

Free outdoor music concerts begin in the Spring with the Boulder Creek Festival and continue throughout the Fall ending with Oktoberfest on the Pearl Street mall. Get there early to find your best spot to dance! You do not need to know any particular steps just have a love for a beat. Like to watch? Go the back of the stage of the weekly Band on The Bricks concert on the Pearl Street mall to see some great hip hop dancers breaking, popping, locking, spinning and strutting their moves to all sorts of live music.

Looking for dance classes?

A Place to Be http://www.boulderdancestudio.com/ is a dance studio for everyone to be an artist offers classes in Bellydance, Gypsy Flamenco, Feldenkrais Method, Hula Dance and more.

Alchemy of Movement http://www.alchemyofmovement.com is a dance studio celebrating the joy of movement! Come dance in a non-competitive and welcoming atmosphere, where you will discover your sassy, sexy, strongest self! They offer classes in Soul Sweat, Jazz, Zumba, World Heat, Happy dance, Conscious Dance, Conscious Burlesque, Soma and Awaken the Dance. Sign up for their newsletter and be invited to the flash mobs they do around town!

Avalon Ballroom, http://www.avalonevents.org/index.php Boulder’s commonuty dance venue for social dancing on a large cushioned dance floor. They offer classes in Israeli Dancing, Scottish dancing, Contradance, Swing, Ballroom, Foxtrot, One-step, Tea dances, Movement Mass and Body Mantra in the tradition of Gabrielle Roth trance dance, Jazz, Sacandanavia, Zumba, Waltz, Salsa and even more.

Avalon Ballroom also includes a special adjoining Boulder Tango Studio http://www.bouldertangostudio.com/# Gustavo Naveira & Giselle Anne have created a new Tango space available for both local tango community classes and for “tangueros” coming from other cities or countries. Giselle Anne has performed in America, Europe and Japan, and during the five years of her residence in Spain (1992-1997) she worked intensely with the tango, creating her own ballet, founding a school and inaugurating the “Casa del Tango” (Tango House) in Sevilla. Gustavo Naveira is a dancer and internationally ranked choreographer, he is also the pioneer of a new technique of teaching the tango, now famous worldwide. After already 30 years of experience and touring all over the world, he imparts his knowledge with conceptual clarity and a rich technique. Being an exceptional analyst and investigator, his abilities have revolutionized tango dancing. Those who best know the world of tango dancing also appreciate his knowledge of tango dancing history and styles which he knows how to materialize through the creativity of his improvisations. The critics in Buenos Aires said: “…You could say that three stylistic tendencies contend for supremacy: Urquiza’s style, Almagro’s style and Naveira’s style …” (Clarín 8/8/99, Buenos Aires Argentina). Together, Gustavo and Giselle have successfully performed in the most important tango festivals around the world (Asia, America & Europe) and are now making the Boulder Tango Studio their home.


Boulder Ballet http://www.boulderballet.org/index.html offers ballet classes with a little bit of the busker thrown in with their Artistic director the Poet of Motion Peter Davidson (http://poetofmotion.com/) Peter’s specialty as a performer is juggling, dance and kinetic comedy mixed to create “poetry of motion”. He is a master of object manipulation in dance and a national juggling champion. A dance performance he creates with trash bags as partners and props is truly mesmerizing and touching to behold. It may be the most romantic dance you ever see with trash bags as the dance partner. Peter shares his vaudeville style even in teaching classical ballet dance moves as part of the unique Boyz Dance program that introduces male students to the world of dance through physical theater and joyful object manipulation.


Elite Dance Academy (http://www.elitedanceacademy.net/) offers Jazz, hip hop, ballet and more.


Free Motion is a Community Dance Center wants you to experience the transformational benefits of vibration and movement through ecstatic dance, afro dance, fierce dancing, contact improvisation, Falmenco Fusion, Hoop Flow and more


Kakes Studio (http://www.kakesstudios.org/) born out of the old Boulder Free School open from 1969 to1983 , where anyone could teach whatever they wanted. That was the ‘free’ part. Mamie Kakes, now owner of Boulder’s Kakes Studios, was then one of the Community Free School’s teachers of ‘Motown Get Down,’ Tap Dance and Rollerskating. Kakes Studios was born on April Fool’s Day, 1983, and has been serving the Boulder community ever since with affordable rental space of two adjoining studios for individuals who currently teach classes in Ballroom/Swing, Lindy Hop, Balboa (vintage swing), Flamenco, Tango, Salsa, Belly Dance, African Dance, African Drumming, Yoga, Martial Arts, Fitness Boot Camp, Performance Art, Hoop Dance, and Hip Hop.

Streetside Studios offers Hip Hop, Breakin’, Jazz, Modern, African and Groove classes. You may see some of them perform on the Pearl Street mall.


Want to learn how to dance in the air?

Check out Aircats Aerial Arts http://www.aircat.net/Aerial/HOME.html the Boulder Circus Center http://bouldercircuscenter.com and Frequent Flyer Productions http://www.frequentflyers.org/page/classes/

Boulder is the place to come and dance as if no one is watching, a place to join a dance party, and a place to learn new dance steps whether at the base of the Flatirons or up in the air.


Additional links that may be helpful:



Band on the Bricks http://www.boulderdowntown.com/events/bands-on-the-bricks

Boulder Creek festival http://www.bceproductions.com/boulder-creek-festival/

Street Side dance Studio http://www.streetsidedance.com/

Alchemy of Movement Dance Studio  http://www.alchemyofmovement.com/

Elite Dance Academy http://www.elitedanceacademy.net/

Kakes Studio (http://www.kakesstudios.org/)

Boulder Ballet http://www.boulderballet.org

Peter Davidson (http://poetofmotion.com/)

A Place to Be http://www.boulderdancestudio.com/

Avalon Ballroom, http://www.avalonevents.org/index.php

Boulder Tango Studio http://www.bouldertangostudio.com/#

Aircats Aerial Arts http://www.aircat.net/Aerial/HOME.html

Boulder Circus Center http://bouldercircuscenter.com/2009/