Growing Through Arts® Retailer: Centerstage Dancewear

Growing Through ArtsLike all of the employees at Centerstage Dancewear in Fayetteville, GA, store manager Laura Jenkins is a lifelong dancer.

“I love the expression of it. It’s like therapy,” says Jenkins, 25, who has been dancing since she was three years old. “Dance is so beautiful and it’s such an incredible thing to be part of. It’s magical.”

Today, Jenkins teaches at several dance studios in the area, and through her experience as a teacher, she knew there was a need for more dance education materials. “Some places are really good with their ballet info and ballet vocabulary, and some aren’t,” she says.

That’s why Jenkins started carrying the ballet-themed books and toys from Growing Through Arts®, which teach young dancers about ballet terms. “I feel that it’s such a great line for kids,” she says.

She especially likes the Growing Through Arts® Ballet Series Alphabet Set, which has illustrated letters, such as A for "arabesque," G for "grande jete" and P for "pointe shoe." “Having that visual really helps make those connections,” she says.

Plus, the fact that the letters are made out of a sticky material that doesn’t leave any residue means kids can put the Alphabet Set in their ballet bag and play with it on the way to class.

Jenkins started out carrying the Cinderella storybook, Practice & Play Book and Stage Scene Play Set because she knew they would be big sellers. “It was a beautiful picture on the front of the book, and I loved the Play Set that came with it,” Jenkins says. “It reminded me of when I was a little girl and played with paper dolls and how much fun I used to have with those.”

She displays the books on top of a circular rack that has children’s leotards on it, as well as on top of a low glass case at the front of the store that is at children's eye level. The merchandising seems to be working because Jenkins says the Cinderella books and toys have sold extremely well.

Recently, Centerstage ordered the Nutcracker books and toys to gear up for the holiday season, and Jenkins thinks they will be ideal for parents who are looking for ways to keep their kids quiet backstage during a Nutcracker performance.

“I remember moms trying to do anything they could to get to the second act,” she says. “I think that’s going to be an awesome tool to keep the kids from being antsy.”

Jenkins says the fact that Centerstage only hires dancers sets the store apart. “The fact that the owner only hires dancers makes a big impact,” she says. “In the dance world, you have to know how to help those customers."

Centerstage Dancewear, which has been in business for more than 20 years, has worked hard at developing strong relationships with the 15 of the dance schools in the area, and it’s become the go-to location in the Fayetteville community for everything from liturgical wear to hip hop shoes, cheerleading bloomers, character shoes for the high school musical, and of course, pointe shoe fittings. “We really do take pride in our pointe shoe fittings, and that’s something in Georgia that we’re known for,” Jenkins says.