In 2005, Teresa Hill-Putnam sold her Centennial performing arts studio to Colorado Ballet and moved her family to St. George, Utah, so two of her children could attend a performing arts high school and gain professional experience there. She ran a studio while living in Utah. Both children have graduated and she decided to move back to Colorado to continue her 28-year career as teacher and director.
“This is home. I decided to reopen what we left,” although a bit smaller (300-400), so kids don’t get lost, she said. Her older daughter Ashley, a professional performer and choreographer for the past six years, has joined forces with her and has been in Colorado for several months organizing, promoting and painting the new studio.
Teresa and younger daughter Amber, 9, who is also a dancer, arrived more recently, and the first order of business was to build a new stage.
The new center at 6328 E. County Line Road is open and will feature a dance studio, the stage and theater space that will seat about 100, plus training in musical theater and vocal performance as well as dance. The lobby will also serve as a music instruction space and small dance boutique.
“Some kids come in wanting a profession and others want a recreational experience,” Teresa said. The center will offer a range of opportunities, tailored to individual needs.
For those who seek musical theater, there will be a production every 15 weeks. (Auditions for “Annie” will be on Aug. 16.) A vocal performance company, “Spotlight Entertainers,” is new here, although Putnam offered it in her Utah center. A pre-professional dance company will entertain locally and on a cruise ship, with auditions scheduled for August 17. “Little Mermaid” is underway, but there may be a few spots open in that. Performances will be Sept. 27-28 and Oct. 4-5. “Bye Bye Birdie” is planned. Teresa writes her own scripts.
“Kids are more capable than people give them credit for,” she says. “Practice makes progress” is the motto.
Preschoolers, ages 2 to 6, will attend morning classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays for dance, with tumbling added. Children 5 and older, through teens, have numerous options in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, gymnastics and musical theater. See the school’s website, spotlightperformers.com, or call 720-443-2623.
Studies have shown that kids involved in performing arts do better academically and socially in school, said Ashley, who was valedictorian in her class.
And Teresa likes for kids to learn to help others, so they will do benefits. In September they will participate in Chelsea’s Walk to raise funds for epilepsy, especially for response dogs and monitors that can predict seizures. (Amber has epilepsy.) “I plan to do a benefit once a month,” Putnam said.