When Kelly Archer moved to the Denver area in 2014, she spent time watching and learning the Denver dance culture, not only at the professional level but the pre-professional level as well, having co-directed a prestigious pre-professional program in Northern California for ten years before moving.  After researching and learning for the first couple of years, she felt a void for the kind of all-encompassing comprehensive program she had come out of in California, a program which was designed to prepare young dancers to be accepted into the top tier conservatory and university programs all around the country, and/or a career in concert dance. . . a program that had an extensive alumni list, which year after year, was producing dancers who were getting into incredible programs right out of high school.

Slowly, dancers in the Denver area, who were hungry for this kind of program, began to find Ms. Archer and work with her, one on one, as she coached them, choreographed solos for them, and prepared them for YoungArts.  She also began guiding them individually on the path that would lead them to the top tier programs that were the best fit for them.  

After several years of this, Ms. Archer had a desire to do more in the dance education field in Denver in order to help more dancers.  With a professional company she directs, a family with four young daughters and no real desire to own her own school, she embarked on a journey to find a realistic solution to create the kind of a program she was used to directing.  She began to pursue the goal of creating this kind of program within her time limitations, without fighting the highly competition-oriented Denver dance culture, and without owning her own dance school.  

This led to the creation of “The Colorado Dance Initiative,” a supplemental pre-professional program designed to assist dancers in reaching their dance goals and dreams within the concert dance world while allowing them the freedom to continue to train at their home studio.  Ms. Archer knows this is very doable as she has seen many, many kids, every year, being accepted into the conservatory/university programs and companies of their choice. Over the years, Ms. Archer has developed a program that can help students achieve their goals of entry into a university dance program or concert dance company, and she is so excited about sharing all that she has learned over the years within the context of CDI.  Ms. Archer also knows how competitive it has become to get accepted into upper-tier conservatory and university dance programs, and therefore how important it is for young dancers to train and build their resumes accordingly.  She is excited to be partnering with Studio 9 Dance Academy in Parker for this program.  Ms. Archer is grateful for her relationship with Lesley Henry and Heather Elliott, owners of Studio 9, for creating and providing such a wonderful home base for the program. 


What defines the uniqueness of this program is that because of her experience and vast knowledge, Ms. Archer is able to look at each dance student and assess what programs will be the best fit for them coming out of high school, then create goals with them, and a path that will help them realize those goals.  In fact, part of the program includes one on one meetings with Ms. Archer and the dancer as well as their parents to discuss each dancer’s goals, the path they are on, and how they are walking that path.

The program will also serve as a bridge between the studio world and the university/dance concert world.  Too many students graduate high school, leave their dance studio and have a rude awakening when they realize how different concert/conservatory/university culture and training is compared to studio culture and training.  Competition is highly coveted in the Denver area, and while there are advantages to some aspects of the competition scene, dancers will permanently leave that world behind them after graduating high school.


The twice-monthly Sundays will include an hour and a half contemporary fusion class for the younger age group, a three-hour rehearsal with both age groups, and a two-hour contemporary fusion class for the older age group.  The rehearsals will culminate in a concert at the end of the season, in a professional environment, with the dancers showcasing the concert work they have been learned throughout the season. These rehearsals, as well as the concert itself, will help give each dancer foundational knowledge about the dance concert world in a way that nothing else can.

In addition, another serendipitous part of this new program is the connection between it and Ms. Archer’s professional company, Chadash Contemporary Dance Movement.  Each August, Chadash premiers its concert in Broomfield, Colorado, and members of The Colorado Dance Initiative will have the opportunity to work with and observe the company in a variety of ways.  At the end of each season, as a part of the program, there will be an audition held for “apprentice” spots in the Chadash concert, working alongside the professional company dancers.


Two Sundays a month September through May.

  • 12:30-2:00- 10-13 year old contemporary fusion class
  • 2:00-5:00- Rehearsal for all ages
  • 5:00-7:00- 14+ contemporary fusion class.

End of the Year Concert to be held at the end of the season, location, date and time TBA.

Three parent meetings for the season (September-May) with each individual 13+-year-old dancer and his or her parents.

One individual meeting for the season with each 10-12-year-old dancer and his or her parents.

Individual guidance throughout the season, regarding goals and a path to reach those goals.

Individual assistance for each student throughout the year during audition season, regarding summer programs and college auditions.  


  • Ages 10-13- $100/month
  • Ages 14+- $150/month.

Not included in the program, but available by Ms. Archer at a discounted rate:

  • Solos
  • Senior Solos
  • YoungArts


The program is by audition only.  Contracts will be offered by August 29th, and the program will begin in September.

DATE: Sunday, August 24th

PLACE: Studio 9 Dance Academy.  18448 Longs Way, Parker, CO

TIME:  1:00-4:30 pm

DRESS CODE: Ballet attire.  You may bring shorts to wear over your leotard for the contemporary portion of the audition.

WHAT TO BRING: A headshot or current picture.

EXPECT: Each age group will have a ballet audition, as well as learning a contemporary combination that they will perform at the end of the audition.  There will also be a short section of improvisation across the floor.

QUESTIONS: Please email

PRE-REGISTRATION:  There is no need to sign up ahead of time or pre-register.  Registration will be at the door.