GLASGOW — Trevor Edwards, a 2014 graduate of Glasgow High School, and Abbey Lutts, a fellow dance major he met at Western Kentucky University, are opening a dance studio in downtown Glasgow.
SOMA, a dance studio and performing arts space located at 213 North Race St., will have its grand opening Aug. 5, with classes beginning Aug. 15, but open registration has already begun and the studio has also started hosting various sessions and private lessons throughout the week.
Every Monday in July, SOMA will be hosting dance fitness sessions from 5:30 to 6 p.m., each with a different theme. Last Monday was 80s dance.
“We encourage anyone and everyone to come and be a part of that, no matter what age you are,” Edwards said. “We’re not here just for kids. We’re here for the whole community of Glasgow.”
Lutts said they will be offering instruction in ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, improvisation, body physics, hip-hop, tap, point, creative movement, partnering, heels, commercial styles, dance on film, dance fitness and yoga.
Edwards added that they hope to involve all kinds of performing art forms in the future.
“We would like to potentially promote community performances once a month,” he said. “So we would get poetry and theatre and voice and digital stuff like photography and video work.”
Edwards and Lutts met at WKU, and they are now both Hilltopper graduates, majoring in dance with minors in performing arts administration.
“We met at Western and we became friends,” Lutts said, adding that they both, at one point, were president of the National Dance Education Organization WKU Student Chapter. “So we both gained administrative skills.”
Edwards said they were in charge of bringing guest artists to WKU and creating events.
After graduating from WKU, Edwards said he has spent the last year touring with the Jon Lehrer Dance Company.
“We were in Orlando, New York, Virginia, Georgia — so we were kind of all over the U.S.,” he said. “And I was teaching in Hendersonville (Tenn.) at WRK. PLC. For Dancers, and dancing in Nashville at Numinous Flux.”
While becoming a professional dancer was where Edwards thought his heart belonged, “I just felt like something wasn’t right,” he said. “I ended up not going to New York when I got offered the position with Jon (Lehrer Dance Company).”
So instead of moving to the big city, Edwards chose to come back to his roots and settle down near his family.
“So many artists are taking their creativity other places rather than the communities that they were built on,” he said. “When I went to Kentucky’s Governor’s School for the Arts (for dance), they were like: ‘You need to bring as much of yourself and your art back to your community as possible,’ and it just really clicked with me.
“I called Abbey up one day while I was working a retail job, and I said: ‘Abbey, I just quit my job. Do you want to open up a dance studio?’ And she was like, ‘Yep. I’m on board.’ And everything kind of fell into place from there.”
Lutts, originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, said she has been dancing since she was 4.
“I was just the little kid who would dance around the house and beg my parents to take dance lessons,” she said. “So I continued after that. I was only taking a couple days a week, but when I was in high school, I got really serious about it, so I was taking dance classes every day.”
When she entered the dance program at WKU, “I fell in love with it all over again,” Lutts said.
“The reason I went there was because I wanted to start my own studio eventually, and I had this plan that maybe after I graduated, like 10 years down the road, I would create this dance studio,” she said. “But for the past year, Trevor and I have been talking about that maybe this is something that we want to do and it just kind of happened – and we’re doing it.
“It’s really exciting. I felt like we kind of just had to jump into it and just start doing it. Why wait 10 years down the road? What are we waiting for at this point? This is what we really want to do. If we want to be able to share our experiences that we’ve already had and our love for dance, then why not do it now?”
Opening up a dance studio in his hometown is very exciting, Edwards said, “just being able to provide an outlet of excellence in the art form of dance.”
“We’ll be able to help people get to the professional level, be able to provide a sanctuary and a space for kids to just grow and prosper in the art of dance or acting or anything,” he said. “We’re really here just to promote people to do what they want to do.
“I don’t want people to run from Glasgow. I want to bring people here, and bring millennials and youth here and have it be a place that we enjoy.”
For more information about SOMA, visit the dance studio’s website: somaky.org.