Dance Studio

At the Otero Dance Studio, we are committed to providing quality dance instruction.  The priority of everyone on the staff is safety and technique.  All of this is done while maintaining a healthy body, healthy self image, building strength, friendships, confidence, and most importantly, having fun.

About the Otero Dance Studio

What started out as an after school dance program in 1981, offering classes in beginning ballet, has grown to include classes in all levels of ballet, pointe, jazz, tap and children’s movement classes for Pre-School aged children. The program has become a stepping stone for students in the Arkansas Valley wishing to pursue dance in college and beyond!

Children as young as 3 years old can start developing coordination, stamina, and strength in our classes. Stop by our studio and observe a class any time!

Class Schedule and Registration

Get the current class schedule at the Otero Dance Studio:

Dance student practicing

The Otero Dance Studio offers classes for students ages 3-adult in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Pointé

Movement Classes

  • Creative Movement for ages 3-4
  • Creative Movement 4-5
  • Pre-Dance/K-Dance for ages 5-6

Ballet Classes

  • All levels of Ballet for ages 6 and above
  • Pre-Pointe’ for ages 10 and above
  • Pointe’ Technique for ages 12 and above


This 45-60 minute class combined class progresses at a steady pace to move through tap and jazz steps and combinations. Warm-up is followed by center floor work and movement across the floor to build skills and combinations that become more difficult with each level. Levels offered will vary depending on the need of students.

Classes include:

  • Creative Movement for 3-4 year olds
  • Pre-Dance for Pre-Schoolers with a combination of ballet, tap, and acrobatics
  • K-Dance for Kindergarteners with a combination of ballet, tap and acrobatics
  • Ballet for ages 6/grade 1 and up
  • Acrobatics for ages 6/grade 1 and up
  • Pre-Pointé for ages 10 and up
  • Pointé for ages 12 and up
  • Tap/Jazz class for ages 6/grade 1 and up

Stop by our studio any time to take a look around and get acquainted with our staff.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with the Otero Dance Studio Director regarding our classes, please send an e-mail to or call us at 719-384-6812.

Dress Code

It’s important for students to abide by a dress code policy for the following reasons:

  • A neat and tidy appearance sets an attitude of attentiveness and respect for students, teacher, and the art of dance.
  • Teachers must be able to see the dancer’s body outline clearly in order to make proper corrections on posture, alignment, etc.
  • Hair must be properly secured and tied up off of the face and neck for all styles of dance.
  • Jewelry must not be loose or dangling. Any jewelry that must be removed should be placed in a secure place. We are not responsible for lost or stolen items. It is encouraged that you NOT wear inappropriate jewelry to the studio in the first place.
  • Gum chewing is not allowed due to danger of choking and appearance. All gum must be spit out before class starts. If a dancers requires a “cough drop” they will not dance until it is completely finished.
  • No loose fitting pants, blue jeans or t-shirts.
  • No costumes are allowed in class unless a dress up day is announced by the individual teacher.

Creative Movement

  • Girls: Any color leotard or t-shirt, bare feet, sweats or shorts depending on the weather if the dancer prefers.
  • Boys: Any color t-shirt or sweatshirt, bare feet, sweats or shorts depending on the weather.


  • Girls: Any color leotard, dance skirts are allowed. We prefer leotards without the attached skirt. Bare feet for tumbling portions, tights or socks for ballet and tap portions. Pink leather shoes, tap shoes.
  • Boys: Any solid color T-shirt and black dance pants or sweatpants, black leather ballet shoes.
  • Long hair must be securely tied up.
  • Ponytails for ballet and tap; braids or pigtails are suggested for tumbling

All Ballet Classes

  • Girls: Black leotard with pink tights are preferred but not required. Pink canvas or leather ballet slippers. Short dance skirts are permitted.
  • Boys: Black tights or dance pants, black or white solid color T-shirt, and black leather ballet slippers.
  • No bare legs.
  • Long hair must be securely tied up – Hair in a neat bun!

Jazz/Tap (all levels)

  • Girls: Any color leotard or tight fitting top, tights or jazz pants, black jazz shoes or black jazz sneakers.
  • Boys: Any solid color T-shirt, black dance pants or sweatpants, black jazz shoes or black jazz sneakers.
  • No bar legs.
  • Long hair must be securely tied up – Ponytails are preferred.
  • No Bare Midriffs. Blue jeans are not allowed.

Images of dress code appropriate attire.

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Otero Dance Studio. If you do not see your question below, please contact us so that we may assist you further.

How long does your semester run?
Typically, Otero Dance Fall and Spring semesters run for 15 weeks, from August to December and January to May.

How many performances do you have per year?
We have one big studio produced spring recital every other year and a holiday performance every other year, with smaller recitals on the “off” semesters. We also have a student produced showcase in the spring highlighting the choreographic talents of our students.

How much are classes?
Please see the Class Schedule for more information about tuition costs. It varies according to the age of the dancer and the length of the class.

My daughter has been taking ballet for so long, will she ever get her pointé shoes?
We get this question a lot. Students seem to take ballet classes for years and yet the instructor never seems to say, “Okay, I think you’re ready for pointé shoes.” An extreme amount of stress is applied to the muscles, ligaments, joints and bones of the feet and ankles during pointé work. If a student is placed on pointé to soon, damage can be done to the growth plates, as well as numerous other injuries that can effect the dancer for a lifetime.

Darlene Blackford

Darlene Blackford

Since 1981, thousands of dance students have passed through the studio doors of Otero Dance. Founder, Darlene Blackford, wanted to provide a studio where anyone, regardless of ability, or potential, could learn to dance. In 2006, former student of Darlene, Jennifer Jackson, took over the role of Director. What started out as an after school dance program offering classes in beginning ballet has grown to include classes in numerous styles of dance. The program has become a stepping stone for students in the Arkansas Valley wishing to pursue a career in dance.

Jennifer Jackson

Also a former student of Darlene’s, Jennifer took over as Director in 2006 following Darlene’s resignation and a three year run as Co-Director. Jennifer has trained with many different dance companies including, Colorado Ballet, Sangre de Cristo Ballet, Pueblo Ballet, Kim Robards Dance, Colorado Springs Ballet Academy and the University of Wyoming Dance and Theater Department.

Jennifer Jackson

Otero Dance Director
(719) 384-6812
Humanities Center

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