WKU alum seek to elevate dance education and performing arts community in hometown
[GLASGOW, KY, JULY 2019] WKU alumni Trevor Dylan Edwards and Abbey Lutts endeavor to grow a new community for dance and performing arts education in the south-central Kentucky region, starting with their new studio SOMA. “We want to bring quality dance and movement education to the Southern Kentucky region as well as expand performing arts training,” says Lutts. Edwards, a native of Glasgow, would like to see expanded dance opportunities in his hometown.
SOMA offers a broad range of classes, ranging from ballet and tap to musical theater and hip-hop, for all ages, with plans to expand adult class offerings. As far as performing arts, SOMA has added a voice instructor and plans to expand theatrical training in the months to come.
Lutts and Edwards aim to raise the standard for pre-professional development for dance education. “We hope to provide a communal outlet for pre-professional training at an early age. This opportunity is often reserved only for the more advanced dancer; however, we want to make this opportunity accessible to all,” says Lutts. SOMA would like to see the dance community of this region become more collaborative rather than competitive in order to ensure student safety, education quality, and preparedness for the professional world.
“The dance company offering of SOMA is meant to enhance the concert mindset and experience, whereas the competition route nurtures a more commercial style and form” says Edwards. “Here at SOMA, class time is dedicated solely to working on technique. We provide space outside of the classroom for work on choreography in both the competition and concert realms. This model is that of the professional dance industry.”
SOMA provides at least two annual shows, during winter and spring, as well as competition entries across the region.
While new, SOMA’s roots are growing deep into the community with plans to keep services accessible to everyday people. “I wouldn’t have danced without the encouragement and support of other people. I wouldn’t have gone to school without scholarships,” says Edwards. SOMA believes self-expression is of vital importance and wants to keep the performing arts approachable and accessible to as many people as possible by keeping prices affordable (even adding scholarship opportunities for those with limited income who show a desire and ability to learn) and by taking dance education beyond the walls of SOMA into the community. SOMA’s mission is to “unearth movement as a vital form of expression.”
SOMA is currently taking registrations for new students. They will have a grand opening on August 5, and classes will begin on August 15.
For more information, visit somaky.org, or follow SOMA on Facebook or Instagram @somamoves. Email SOMA at email@example.com.