Sports fans and arts patrons have at least one major thing in common: Both covet the live event, where anything can happen, where the moment itself is the thing. Outside of theater, such events here include dance, comedy and multiple forms of storytelling.
Starting with dance: Local outfits cover everything from ballet to interpretive to burlesque. Here are a few that offer classes, but also put on regular performances.
Ormao Dance Company (ormaodance.org) can be counted on for seasonal shows in collaboration with other professionals, and sometimes in tandem with exhibits at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, with the dance performed right inside the gallery. L.I.F.E. Step Team (goo.gl/QeN63e), now over 20 years old, is a community-based nonprofit for dancers age 12 to 23 that sees members performing regularly in regional and national contests. Southern Colorado's sole burlesque troupe, Peaks and Pasties (peaksandpasties.com), performs nearly weekly, with larger shows monthly and bigger events quarterly — they never fail to pack in the crowds. Colorado Springs Dance Theatre (csdance.org), meanwhile, routinely partners with top national companies for shows, such as Peridance Contemporary Dance Company out of New York. Colorado Youth Ballet (coloradoyouthballet.com), a pre-professional company for young dancers, performs with others annually in The Nutcracker.
Moving to comedy, touring talent frequents Loonees Comedy Corner (loonees.com), but the most reliable way to find local laughs is through improv groups like the RiP (theriponline.com) — which performs monthly at the Millibo Art Theatre — and Improv Colorado (improvcolorado.com), which regularly hosts Improv 101 classes and hangouts where you can play improv games with the members. Stick Horses in Pants (thestickhorses.com) keeps a lively schedule as well, with shows at The Loft and the Lon Chaney Theater.
The poetry/spoken-word scene has grown robust in a few short years, thanks in large part to dependable events such as the weekly Word Wednesdays (goo.gl/TNGW7m) and the twice-monthly Hear Here (wheretohear.org), which hosts open mics (plus potlucks!) that are all-ages and structured.
Less participatory (unless you pitch your own story in advance) but no less essential is The Story Project (thestoryprojectsoco.wordpress.com), which twice a month brings a handful of speakers from a variety of backgrounds to share a life experience with the audience. Expect doctors, writers, entrepreneurs, urban homesteaders, you name it. And if you miss a session, watch it later through the website.