"The response since we opened our new studio in January has been fantastic," she continues. "We had 200 people come through the door just in the first two weeks, and now we're accommodating a whole range of ages, with classes for 5 and 6 year-olds, a whole kids program we're developing, and new classes for adults. This year we went from offering 3 classes a week to 21 classes a week. It's been huge."
That's explosive growth by any measure, and Smith just lit another fuse, almost by accident: Groupon.
To meet the demand, she'll have to expand her class schedule even further in the coming weeks. First things first: She's got a festival to get off the ground.
"We have a lot of great visiting teachers coming for the festival," Smith says. "Kevin O'Connor from Canada's Tipping Point Productions will be teaching and performing, Alessandra Ogren from Wise Fool New Mexcio will be doing a new piece on aerial stilts, we'll have aerial fabric work by Sarah Poole, we'll have trapeze work by the twins Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion from Nimble Arts, and contact improvisation work by Steve Homsher and Gretchen Spiro from Tumblebones."
The Frequent Flyers Productions crew will be in flight, as well: Watch for Catherine Bedell, Valerie Morris, Danielle Hendricks, and Smith herself.
"I love teaching at the festival," says Smith, a specialist in low-trapeze and "invented apparatus" performances, using devices of her own design. "It feels like we're reinventing flight every time."
Aerial Dance Festival tickets are $25 at www.thedairy.org or 303-444-7328. For more information, visit www.frequentflyers.org. Performances take place Friday, August 6 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, August 7, at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, August 8 at 2 p.m.