Meet the Bar Stars Dancers: Walters and Cutler ‘Fools’ for Dance
by Sara Crocker
And while the couple is refusing to detail here any of their plans for their routine, they will concede one hint, from another favorite phrase: “Life is no good without some wiggling,” Cutler said.
“So maybe we will admit that there will be some wiggling in our routine,” Walters added.
When selecting this year’s “Bar Stars” to reprise the wildly popular “Dancing with the Stars”-esque dance off that paired attorneys with professional dancers, captivating attendees at last year’s Barristers Benefit Ball, the committee approached Walters.
“I said no, but I would do it if I can dance with my spouse,” he recalled.
Committee member Jerremy Ramp told him, “That’s even better.”
“I did all that without talking to Christy first, and I’m paying the price,” Walters joked.
Other DBA notables and their spouses also have signed on to compete. In fact, the competition will pit three former DBA presidents against each other on the dance floor: Walters and Cutler; Mark Fogg and his wife Pat; and Elsa Martinez Tenreiro and her husband Steve Theis.
They will all practice and plan their routines with professional dancers.
Walters said he thinks it’s great to involve and recognize the spouses of Bar Stars.
“For those of us who work and do bar activities, anybody that’s ever done that knows that your significant other or spouse is a major part of whatever you do—being with you or supporting you or listening to you decompress, whatever it might be,” he said. “In a way, if you’re going to feature the DBA presidents, it really should include the significant other as well.”
“It has very much a real feel,” she said. “I think it will be fun.”
Walters and Cutler have individual dancing experiences that they bring to the competition.
Walters recalled that he once took the stage at a ballet recital—his sister’s ballet class was always short on boys, so he filled in, doing a traditional Hawaiian dance, the Hukilau. He learned the twist in a unique way: on an interstate outside Tampa. He was going to see Joey Dee and the Starliters, and he and his friends decided they needed to practice it before they got there.
“[Dance is] really a wonderful form of expression and I’ve enjoyed it,” he said.
Cutler taught creative movement to children for 25 years.
“I danced with 2-year-olds up to 14-year-olds, and that’s a very different thing than ballroom dancing,” she said.
“Makes me the perfect partner,” Walters added.
Jokes aside, the two have never been afraid to hit the dance floor.
“We love to dance together,” Cutler said. “We have always enjoyed that, whether it’s at a club or a wedding or the Barristers Ball.”
In fact, they had a dance class for themselves and other couples in their living room about two years ago. They cleared all the furniture out of their living room so they could learn to dance rueda de casino, a Cuban form of salsa that’s done as a group in a circle, almost like square-dancing.
Also, their daughter Anna is in an Afro-Cuban dance company in Los Angeles. She’s given her own ideas, but they’re still keeping their plans a secret. Cutler would say that they may have a subtle costume change during the performance.
“Which could mean we’ll change our minds,” Walters said.
When asked about what challenges they face, Walters said it will be tough to remember all the steps.
“Usually when I dance, I just dance what I want to dance,” he said. “This is more structured than that; it has to be. Going from making it up to an act, I think that will be a little harder.”
As they start to prepare for the dance competition, which will be a part of the ball on May 5, they also will mark a personal milestone. Walters and Cutler will celebrate their 30th anniversary this month.
“We thought this would be a good way to celebrate our anniversary,” Walters said, spurring laughter from them both.
Despite the anxiety that may accompany the performance, they’re looking forward to the ball.
“It’s for a great cause, more than anything else,” Walters said, noting that the event benefits Metro Volunteer Lawyers. “It’s all about having fun.”
“I think we’re hoping to bring a little silliness into whatever it is we do that night,” she said. “It’s not a deadly serious thing at all.” D