“Unless you’re a performer, I don’t think anyone knows what it feels like to be onstage ... to be in the moment,” Kyler says. “You can’t re-create that. It’s addictive.”

Dance Fever

Allison Kyler gives an encore performance

Growing up in Hickory, North Carolina, raised on a diet of Madonna and Paula Abdul videos, Allison Kyler knew her future involved dance. Now at 31, Kyler’s 16-year professional dance career has led her to the gig of her life as one of two backup singer/dancers for Mötley Crüe’s The Final Tour, which makes a stop in Vegas—her home since 2012—for iHeart Radio on September 19.

With an aptitude for gymnastics, cheerleading and dance like her younger sister, Ashley, Kyler started with typical offerings such as ballet and jazz. Seeing both girls’ potential, Kyler’s mother drove her daughters to New York City on weekends and school breaks, where they both would be signed by famed Wilhelmina Models, and Allison was cast in off-Broadway shows such as Gypsy and Bye Bye Birdie. At 13, Kyler got the ultimate break for a girl who dreamed of dancing on MTV: the chance to relocate with her family to New York or L.A. to pursue her career full-time.

Kyler spent the next 13 years in L.A., dropping out of high school at 16 to study eight hours a day at the Edge Performing Arts Center, where her work ethic and finesse on the floor caught the eyes of mentor choreographers Brian Friedman and Andre Fuentes. Kyler credits them with helping her become a success by giving her opportunities most 16-year-olds didn’t get. Her career highlights include the first iPod commercial; a tour with American R&B group B2K; a role in the 2004 dance flick You Got Served and the 2006 film Date Movie; and dancing for Shakira, Fergie, Nelly Furtado and Christina Aguilera.

In 2011, Kyler got a life-changing call from Tommy Lee’s then girlfriend and now fiancée, Sofia Toufa, to join her as a backup singer/dancer for Mötley Crüe. It was an opportunity for Kyler to do what she does best, but on a much larger scale. After this Crüe tour wraps in January 2016, it will be a five-year stint performing for one of the most prolific rock ’n’ roll bands in history.

After all the touring, Kyler is looking forward to putting down roots. “I want to come back to Vegas, and I’d like to hang up my touring shoes,” she says. “I feel as a dancer there’s pretty much nothing on my bucket list. But then again, I’ve never headlined a show in Vegas, and headlining a show in your hometown …” she says, voice trailing. 

Lucky for us, there’s still room on Kyler’s dance card.

Follow Kyler on Twitter @allisonkyler