Bella Diva Dance was shut down March and April of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic but has rebounded nicely by offering classes via zoom and limited capacity in studio simultaneously. All the teachers were teaching their classes from the basements in their homes,” said Caitlin Brozna-Smith, owner and founder of Bella Diva Dance Studio. “Even when we came back, people had to wear masks, hand sanitize, and social distance. It was a huge mountain we had to climb to figure out how we could dance. We are a community studio. People come for community and socialization and learning about other cultures and finding ways to make it welcoming and fun was really hard.”
The award-winning Bella Diva Dance moved from Cherry Creek North to Glendale in 2014 after four years at 3rd and Clayton. Working with the City of Glendale has been a joy for Brozna-Smith. “Chuck Line [Glendale Deputy City Manager] is my best bud at the city right now,” said Brozna-Smith. “That man calls you back within 24 hours. He sent officials over the next day when the 5-Star Program was implemented. People feel good seeing that certificate in the window. They see all the mitigation measures we’re doing.”
The mitigation measures Bella Diva Dance Studio takes appear to be working. “Knock on wood, we’ve been totally healthy at the studio so far,” said Brozna-Smith. “We haven’t had a single [Covid] case and everything is super clean. We have a huge fan and in between classes, we open up both doors and completely air out the studio.” Each studio is able to operate at 25% capacity which allows for 10 people in each studio at once. When the weather is nice, Bella Diva Dance offers classes outdoors at nearby Infinity Park in Glendale.
The studio is situated in the same shopping center where longtime Glendale businesses, The Bookies and Dr. Proctor’s Lounge are located. Bella Diva Dance Studio joins Delectable Catering as one of four businesses in the shopping center that is a Glendale Chamber member. “I’m very lucky to be part of the Glendale Chamber,” said Brozna-Smith. “It’s so much better than the big ones. Very valuable. I can’t wait to get back out there for the happy hours.”
Brozna-Smith’s business partner Erin Anderson shares the space with her business, Communitas. The two met four years ago while Anderson was taking one of Brozn
a-Smith’s classes at the Cherry Creek Athletic Club (now Lifetime Fitness). Communitas focuses on creating a healing space which includes massage therapy and extensive body work.
The Bella Diva Dance Studio, founded in 2010, does not focus on the traditional ballet or tap dance. Bella Diva Dance offers a unique blend of modern Egyptian, American and Lebanese style dance techniques. Particular emphasis is placed on body awareness, proper alignment and clean movement execution. They are a company dedicated to creating a community for belly dancers and samba dancers while elevating the art of both dance forms. They dance to share the joy and beauty of Middle Eastern and Brazilian dance through artistry, thoughtful innovation and quality classes. “Bella Diva Dance is a female empowering experience. Whether it’s attending one of the classes that push you physically to try new and exciting movements with your body, or attending a show, BDD always does a great job. I would highly recommend the classes or the shows to any and everyone I know,” said valley resident Kara Thomas.
Class structure is based on a Western format of beginning with a thorough warm up including isolations and stretching, and then moving on to clear movement breakdowns, drilling the basics, hands-on corrections and integrating movements through combinations, choreography and improvisational exercises. Above all else, Bella Diva Dance celebrates the joy, femininity and individual expression inherent in Middle Eastern and Brazilian dance.
The unlimited monthly dance passport is $150/month and gives students access to all weekly Bella Diva dance and yoga classes (except advanced level/by invitation only classes). You can also pay the drop in price and not commit to an entire month if you want to test. For more information on any workshops or classes, visit Bella Diva Dance’s website at belladivadance.com or call them at 303-359-9414. The studio is located at 4309 E. Mississippi Avenue in Glendale.