New studio gives longtime dance, fitness instructors a home of their own
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The newest dance and fitness studio in Steamboat Springs was created by three, longtime instructors who are hoping their businesses have found a new home with a fresh and unique co-op concept.
“It is an anti-studio in the sense that it’s not that we’re all trying to be a conglomerate together to try to make money for one person,” said co-owner Jamie Boeri. “We’re all sort of making money for ourselves. It’s established businesses coming into their own and sharing a space.”
Boeri, who operates Bella Movement Dance and Fitness, has partnered with Scott Goodhart, who owns Goodhart’s Dancin Steamboat, and Meg Southcott, who owns Forty106 Dance Project, to open Steamboat Dance + Fitness at 1955 Bridge Lane in West Steamboat Springs. The three instructors will operate their own businesses under the same roof in the space, which includes two separate dance studios. When space allows, the owners will lease unused space to other local instructors for as long as they need it.
“All three of us have a very established business and a strong following,” Boeri said. “We weren’t looking to hand that off to just any studio owner. … We wanted to make money for ourselves, to build our own brands and, of course, support each other in the process.”
This will be Boeri’s second attempt to make her business Bella Movement Dance & Fitness work in Steamboat.
“I was the very first (barre) instructor here and kind of introduced barre to Steamboat Springs,” Boeri said. “I started a studio on the west side, Bella Barre. It was maybe a little bit before its time, and it just didn’t take off.
“It was me by myself,” Boeri said of her first studio. “This is kind of my second go at it, but this time, I have partners to share the space and to share the overhead.”
Boeri said her education and experience are what make the difference in her studio.
She studied kinesiology at California State Polytechnic University and has danced professionally for many years, working for the Disney Corporation, ABC Network, Disneyland California and California Adventure. She also has appeared in music videos, commercials and televised holiday specials prior to moving to Steamboat Springs in 2010.
She has a full apparatus and mat certification with BASI Pilates from Costa Mesa, California, and has gone on to receive several barre method, TRX and personal trainer certifications.
Boeri offers Bella Barre classes — a combination of Pilates, ballet and barre-based isometrics — and a dance academy inspired by her years of professional dance experience.
“Bella Barre fitness classes are based on isometric contractions at the bar really fatiguing the muscle but in a safe and effective way. It’s good for all levels, and it’s no impact,” Boeri said. “I pride myself on my education. … I have my bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and have really taken a long time to study my craft.”
Scott Goodhart has been teaching dance for 11 years with stints at Arthur Murray Dance studios and May I Have This Dance studio in Chicago. His experience working with some of the best dance coaches in the world has given him the skills needed to offer a wide range of partner dancing that includes ballroom, Latin, salsa, swing, ballroom and country.
He continued to teach after moving to Steamboat but always in a studio owned by someone else. This marks the first time he has ventured out on his own.
“I’ve been teaching in other studios for 11 years or so,” Goodhart said. “I just wanted to start something on my own where we can have our own space. I have my own idea of how to run a business, and this is sort of the first time venturing out on that.”
Goodhart specializes in teaching a wide variety of dance styles to people with a large range of skill levels. He believes Steamboat Dance + Fitness will now allow him to use his experience to offer a unique experience in Steamboat.
Goodhart is currently teaching his clases online, but plans to resume classes in July.
When Meg Soutcott started Forty106 Dance Project, she created a contemporary/modern dance company aimed at fostering artistic and personal growth through dance, encouraging performing arts advocacy in the community and helping to establish Steamboat as an arts destination.
“Forty106 Dance Project is a performance-based company that also offers adult level classes, and during the summertime, pre-professional level classes to just kind of get people dancing and moving and appreciate dance as an art form,” Southcott said. “Right now, I’m just offering technique classes. Eventually, I will start offering a little more specialized dance electives like choreography classes, dance academy, dance history and down the line more collaborative works with fellow artists, musicians, visual artists and that sort of thing.”
Southcott, who has a dance performance degree and a bachelor’s degree of fine art from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, founded Forty106 in 2018. That June, the company held one live performance, “Hurry Up and Wait,” at the Depot Arts Center. But due to space and trying survive in Steamboat, the company has not had another performance in Steamboat, but Southcott said one is in the works. She said the new studio space gives the company a place to call home.
“It allows people to come into the space to take class to either get back into dancing if they haven’t done it in a while, or explore something that they have been wanting to try forever and just haven’t felt comfortable or haven’t had the opportunity,” Southcott said. “This space allows that to happen. It will be a house for rehearsals and then open rehearsals and then eventually those rehearsals will lead to the performance.”
The studio had planned to hold a grand opening earlier this spring, but COVID-19 postponed that. All three businesses are transitioning back to live classes while following health guidelines protocols.
“We’re just getting back in there, and we’re like 75% operating,” Boeri said. “We are limited to 10 students right now. … We definitely still have some room in classes. Some people are deciding to stay with the online service, which has been a huge success for me during this time.”
To find out more information about the classes offered, availablity, times and cost go to steamboatdanceandfitness.com for more information.
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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