Bobby G Awards

One of the Three Threats: Dance

You’ve probably heard the term “triple threat” before, but in the arts, what exactly does it mean? It’s the highly coveted skill set for performers: someone who can sing, act, and dance.  

The company of Oklahoma!. DCPA Theatre Company. Photo by AdamsVisCom.

For many actors, the dancing can seem the most daunting. Let’s take a closer look at how taking dance lessons can bulk up your repertoire, what kind of classes are most beneficial, and where you can get started in Denver. 

West Side Story. Cabaret. Oklahoma!. A Chorus Line. Anything Goes. What do these iconic shows have in common? They’re musicals, but they all also involve quite a bit of dancing. If that seems intimidating, wait until you hear that each of those shows utilizes a different style of dance. Who knew there were so many? 

For many musicals that feature dance, it’s vital for the leads (and supporting cast!) to be competent movers. Having a foundation in dance will give you a leg up in the audition process (literally). That doesn’t mean you need to execute a pirouette with the grace of a ballerina, but building an awareness of your body and obtaining a general knowledge of dance language gives you an excellent head start. 

A couple dances together in Much Ado About Nothing

Desirée Mee Jung and Alexander Sovronsky in Much Ado About Nothing. DCPA Theatre Company. Photo by Michael Martin Photography

Depending on how much you want to invest in a dance education, there are different places you can start. For those wanting a general knowledge, a musical theatre dance class is an excellent introduction. Most classes will cover basic ballet, jazz, contemporary, and tap movements. 

For those wanting to develop their skills and versatility, taking a ballet class should come before anything else. Ballet is widely considered the best foundation for all other styles of dance. Ballet will teach you some of the most important aspects of dance, including posture, balance, turnout, and plie. Take that skill set with you into any dance class and you will feel much more prepared. 

If you’ve already been taking lessons, it’s important to try new things and boogie out of your comfort zone. Try an African dance class, modern, or hip hop. You could even try ballroom or Latin. If you find one that stands out to you, there’s likely a musical where you could utilize those skills! 

Bobby G Awards

The Bobby G Awards. Photo by John Moore

There are many dance studios in and around Denver that offer a variety of classes. There is sure to be one that suits your schedule, comfort level, and budget. Some studios are Arthur Murray Dance Center, Cherry Creek Dance, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Colorado Ballet, Colorado Conservatory of Dance, dance2b, and EVQ Elite Dance Studio. 

In addition to acting, singing, improvisation, and more, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) also offers choreography and dance classes. There are different courses offered for children, teens, and adults and all skill levels are welcome. The courses are intended to help you build confidence on the dance floor and develop your audition toolkit. 

It can be nerve-wracking to try something for the first time, especially when you’re in a room filled with other people and a mirror reflecting your every move. But dance shouldn’t be daunting – it should be fun! There’s that saying: dance like no one is watching. Whether you believe it or not, most people are too busy watching themselves during a dance class to pay any attention to whether you landed on the correct foot or not. Keep that in mind when you attend your first class!