Shop Small, Shop Local
I was part of the Boston dance scene for over 10 years. I can tell you with confidence that Teddy’s shoes is a can’t miss landmark. Located in the heart of Central Square, Cambridge next to The Dance Complex, Teddy’s has everything. From personal experience I can say they’re especially helpful when you show up for class and realize you forgot your shoes!
This Holiday Season we wanted to highlight some small dance stores that could use your support. Shopping small is more important now than ever. These stores breathe extra life into the dance industry supporting you in feeling your best in the studio and on stage – this speaks to The Whole Dancer mission in a big way!
In this post we’ll also share some of our favorite online dance brands and a MEGA Holiday Giveaway where you can win a prize package valued at over $500. Keep reading for the details and to enter.
Teddy’s Shoes Cambridge , MA
We spoke with Steven Adelson owner of Teddy’s Shoes to hear more about his experience and contributions to the dance community…
“We are a family owned shoe store that specializes in dance supplies, family footwear, hats and more. The store opened in 1957 and has suffered greatly since the pandemic began in March. I love taking care of my customers, speaking different languages and being my own boss. “
Steven highlighted some of the amazing benefits of shopping small, “We have a massive inventory where people can come in, try things on and be fitted properly. We also offer free curbside pickup and local delivery. “
We asked, what are some of your favorite and most popular holiday gifts for dancers? “The warm-up booties are quite popular. Also little girl’s skirted leotards are so cute.” Steven adds, “We have a great website, www.teddyshoes.com where people can see lots of our products. We also have a Go Fund Me campaign — Keep 62 Year Old Business — Teddy Shoes Alive http://gf.me/u/xsfbd6“
Owner of Opening Night in Columbus, Ohio Chris Ferrante also shared some great insights into the value of shopping with small dance retailers…
Opening Night Columbus, Ohio
“By far, my favorite part of owning a dance supply store is seeing the wonderment in a new dancer’s face when they put on that first pair of ballet or tap shoes. Unfortunately I do more administrative work than fitting shoes nowadays, but I still get the ‘feels’ when my staff has a little one who is beaming from ear to ear and can’t wait to start dance class.“
He said, shopping small this holiday season means you get, “personal experience of shopping in a store and being able to try and feel the products is irreplaceable. That is especially important when it comes to fitting shoes and crucial when it comes to pointe shoes. In addition, we employ dancers, dance teachers, and dance moms who all live, shop and pay taxes in our community so you are helping our local economy.”
If you need a gift for a dancer, Chris says how about, “Gift Cards, Warm Up Booties, Dance Themed Charms, Legwarmers, Stuffed Animals, Dance Bags…”
Finally, Chris hopes you see, “…that during this economic downturn for the dance industry that people realize that we can’t survive without their patronage. We’ve been here for 30 years, servicing the dance community, promoting their shows, providing them with quality products and service and it’s more important than ever that the dance studios and dance stores work together to assure we’re all here for another 30 years. If not, where are you going to go to see your 3 year old pointe their toes for the first time in the mirror or hear the first sound of a tap shoe?–“
Opening Night! Distinctive Dancewear
Finally, here’s what Jane’s Dance Boutique owner Jane had to share…
Jane’s Dance Boutique Stuart, FL
“I opened my store about 11 years ago after seeing a need on the Treasure Coast. We have a large dance community, with lots of studios, theatre programs, and twirlers. My favorite part of owning a dance supply store is finding and fitting a dancer for the right pointe shoe. I enjoy going to all the shows and watching the girls develop and grow as dancers and performers. I get to be a part of their journey, it’s rewarding.”
As far as benefits to shopping small, Jane says…
“The benefits of holiday shopping local versus going through an online dance retailer is the experience we provide. I get to be a process of the journey, I see the changes the dancers and their feet go through to aid in the fitting process. As a small business I get to employ some of the young dancers that have shopped at my store. We deliver to the studios, we can set up pop-up stores at the studios for the convenience of the parents.
We have studio programs we offer to the studios therefore, studios and parents receive discounts and rewards along the way. Our store can be just as competitive as the online retailer and at the same time the customers are also giving back to the community in which they live. I will get parents and dancers to assist in what they would like to see me carry in the store.
I have decorating contests for pointe shoes and nutcrackers that I display in the store so the dancers can see them throughout the dance journey. It’s like being a part of a larger dance community. I have even had a customer call me ‘doctor Jane’ after fixing problems they may be experiencing. When dancers come in for their first pointe shoe fitting I take a picture and hang it on the wall. After a year the pictures came down and we made a tutu on a mannequin that displays all the girls in their pointe shoes. Everyone loves it and they look for their friends. Again, it’s a community.”
Here are Jane’s gift ideas for dancers, “Some of the most popular gifts for dancers that we sell are warm-up booties, Nutcracker/Dancer T-shirts, and ornaments. We also sell leotards, and work out items, resistance bands, foot stretchers, balance boards and turn boards.”
Commit to doing at least some of your Holiday shopping with the local dance stores near you. If you’re not doing your shopping in person, go online and shop with Teddy’s Shoes, Opening Night in Columbus or Jane’s Dance Boutique. Find a way to have a positive impact on small dance businesses. For more online dance shopping, check out some of our favorite online dance brands AND enter our 2020 Holiday Giveaway.
The Whole Dancer MEGA Holiday Giveaway!
Our biggest giveaway ever…
This giveaway will run through December 20, 2020. The winner will be announced on Instagram and contacted via DM on December 21, 2020. ONE verrrry lucky winner will win all prizes.
How to Enter:
FIRST: Click Here to sign up for The Whole Dancer email list.
SECOND: Follow @thewholedancer and each of these amazing brands on Instagram…
Third: Tag a friend in the comments of this post on The Whole Dancer Instagram…
Tag additional friends.
Share the giveaway post to your stories.
The winner must be following all brands and be on The Whole Dancer email list on 12/20 to qualify. You must reside within the continental US and be 18 or older to enter (a parent may enter for you). This giveaway is not in any way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram. Brand pictures do not represent prizes – see details below for prize info. Prizes valued at over $500.
Veraria Notebooks are the perfect eco-friendly luxury notebook for jotting down rehearsal notes, corrections, meal prep ideas, and self-care routines or use it as a journal! Veraria prioritizes “making a notebook worthy of your every word” which makes it the perfect notebook for valuing your worth as a human and a dancer.
Cloud and Victory Every Body Dance Water Bottle:
The Whole Dancer is a longtime fan of Cloud & Victory. All of C&V’s products are thoughtfully and whimsically designed while also putting an emphasis on sustainability and joy. “No matter who you are, you deserve to feel good when dancing!” Perfectly aligned with The Whole Dancer Mission!
RubiaWear Shorty Legwarmers:
RubiaWear is just one of the many woman-dancer owned brands featured on The Whole Dancer Giveaway. RubiaWear prioritizes functionality AND style. These leg warmers are the perfect dancing accessories for a little extra warmth to get you through some colder dancing months!
Label Dancewear $80 Giftcard:
Label Dancewear creates the most flattering leotards for feeling confident in classes and rehearsals. Label Dancewear’s mission to “inspire artists everywhere to celebrate the beauty of our differences through the art of dance.”
Not only does Label Dancewear donate a portion of their proceeds to keeping the arts in schools, but this company prioritizes People, Planet, and Product.
PerfectFit Inserts Kit:
PerfectFit Inserts is one of the most empowering products for dancers on the market right now. The PerfectFit Inserts allow you to embrace your uniqueness while also removing painful and damaging pressure points while dancing on pointe. PerfectFit Inserts allow you more control and CONFIDENCE in your dancing- couple this with your positive healthy mindset and you are on your way to unstoppable.
Resonance Athletics prioritizes functionality, style, AND sustainability- the complete package. So excited to share Resonance Athletics especially after featuring Betsy McBride (Co-Owner) on The Whole Dancer blog in June 2020.
On Pointe Pilates:
On Pointe Pilates is a strength and flexibility cross-training method for dancers created by Khayla Jordan, a professional dancer and Pilates instructor based in Los Angeles. Informed by growing dance medicine research, the method aims to help dancers improve performance and prevent injury.
Splendid Spoon Delivery:
Splendid Spoon is perfect for busy dancers to fuel their bodies with plant-based, ready-to-eat delicious entrees and smoothies. When you’re juggling class, rehearsal, cross-training and life in general, it can leave you without the time to make healthy meal prep choices. This is where Splendid Spoon comes in! Splendid Spoon takes the work out of grocery shopping, prepping, and planning.
Rose Hydration Set
A lovely skincare routine is a fabulous form of self-care which we’re totally in favor of at The Whole Dancer. Through the dry Winter months, use this fresh skincare Rose Hydration Set to keep your skin happy and your mind at ease.
Jenelle Manzi, a veteran New York City Ballet dancer, spent many years of her career on the sidelines battling injuries and food allergies…So, she started creating delicious recipes that gave her the energy she craved, while cultivating a strong, positive community that gave her the boost she was looking for. These Get Golden bars are seriously delicious and exceptionally nutritious. Our favorite combo.
With Love Top and a Big Blush Bow
What could possibly be better than a ballet inspired fitness brand? The With Love top is about doing everything from the heart, with the best intentions. with love. Owner Kelsey brings the ballet aesthetic to her creations resulting in truly beautiful pieces.
Each of these brands is dynamic in it’s own way. Whether you’re shopping for holiday gifts or for yourself, think about the impact of your dollar. Wishing you peace, love and lots of joy this Holiday Season! xo, Jess