Music blasted inside a dance studio at The Stage signifying the beginning of class.
At 5:30 p.m., another cardio dance party session kicked off to a mixture of an electronic dance version of Lorde’s “Royals” along with a man playing the djembe in the corner.
“Here we go,” the instructor said, just slightly able to be heard above the music.
In sync, nearly 20 people began a workout routine that caused them to stretch, spin, squat and dance to the rhythm of the beat.
“Wooo!” the class screamed as it made it through the first song of the hourlong sweat session.
Somewhere at the front was owner and instructor Tracey Allyn Cutler.
If she wasn’t moving to the beat that night in class, she would still be dancing with joy at the sight of her dreams coming true.
“It’s unbelievable,” she said. “This studio is my dream. No dream is too big. If it doesn’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough.”
Before she had the vision to open her own dance and fitness studio, Cutler spent most her career in New York dancing on Broadway.
She moved to Henderson six years ago and started teaching fitness dance classes at ClubSport Green Valley. But she wanted to do more than teach classes.
“I had a vision,” she said. “I wanted to share my passion and joy with other people. No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to learn to dance.”
Cutler thought about opening a studio. Instead of a typical center for professional dancers, she wanted a place that would meet everyone’s skill level.
With that in mind, she started The Stage Professional Dance and Fitness Studio, 2510 Anthem Village Drive, Suite 150, three years ago.
“People told me they would sit out in the parking lot watching to see what kind of people showed up,” she said.
People with different backgrounds, ages, rhythmic capabilities and physical conditions would come in.
“It’s dance that doesn’t discriminate,” said Rawlins Apilado, an instructor at the studio.
While it was an opportunity for adults of any age to learn tap, jazz, ballroom, hip-hop or various other dances, the classes also proved to be a great workout.
“It’s a challenge,” said Kathy Drylie, who has been learning from Cutler since ClubSport. “It’s not just physically challenging. It’s mentally challenging, and that’s what keeps you young.”
Even though she was never a dancer growing up, Drylie has been able to pick up the moves and keep up in classes.
Cutler has watched people’s lives transform from losing weight to gaining self-esteem and energy.
The studio has also transformed to something she could only hope for — a family.
Cutler said after one of the dancers fell and broke a hip, other members went to her home to bring her care packages.
More opportunities are headed Cutler’s way as she prepares to be featured on a few television shows.
“The Men of the Strip,” a film slated to be featured on the entertainment network E! in May, is filming at her studio.
“It’s going to change the face of male revues,” said Glenn Douglas Packard, owner of the production. “We will be rehearsing here until the end of March.”
He said he fell in love with the studio the first time he saw it and knew it would a great place to film the show.
Cutler said an episode of TLC’s “Sister Wives” is scheduled to film at the studio in the future.
Cutler wants to expand her vision to make The Stage into a health and wellness center.
She recently began a partnership with Apilado to expand it.
“I’m the dance background, but his career is centered around fitness,” Cutler said.
Apilado is still in the process of determining how the studio will add on to the vision.
“I’m glad she has given me the freedom to be creative,” he said of Cutler.
Apilado is proposing adding a PiYo class — a combination of Pilates and yoga and lectures centered around wellness with the hopes of making the place more holistic.
Regardless of how it will expand, it still has the same goal.
“We want you to leave feeling accomplished,” Apilado said.
No matter what happens in the future, Cutler is thankful for how far she has come. Cutler flashed back to a time when she was a little girl — 8 or 9 in her memory.
“We used to have guests come over,” she said. “I would go into my room and choreograph a dance. When I was done, I’d come out and ask if I could perform.”
Though many things have changed, she feels as though it’s the same little girl who performs in front of the classes at the studio.
“Sometimes I have to stop the class to thank everyone,” she said as tears began to fill her eyes. “Thank you for believing in my vision and letting it come true.”
For more information, visit thestagestar.com or call 702-778-3100.
Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5201.