Growing Through Arts® Retailer: Footlights

Joy Ellis Joy Ellis

For more than 20 years, Joy Ellis, owner of Footlights dancewear store in Frederick, Md., has been providing dancers in the Washington, D.C., area a huge selection of every kind of dance shoe, apparel, and accessories imaginable.

Her 4,000-foot store carries clothes and shoes for every type of dance, from ballerinas to belly dancers, tap dancers to liturgical dancers, ballroom dancers and more. Pointe shoes, however, are her specialty, and the store has about 3,500 pointe shoes in stock at all times, including Russian Pointe®.

Footlights opened in August 1991, when Joy’s daughter was a young aspiring dancer and she couldn’t find a dancewear store close to home.

A fan of Growing Through Arts®, Joy currently carries the Ballet Series of storybooks, Practice & Play books, Stage Scene Play Sets and Alphabet Sets. “I like that it’s bringing the ballet stories to the children and bringing it to their level,” she says. “It’s really well done.”

A former early childhood teacher, Joy knows a lot about what makes an engaging children’s book. She taught for 11 years before quitting to raise four children, and she says she likes that the Growing Through Arts® books teach children about the arts without going over their head.

Joy says the Practice & Play books were big sellers during the Christmas holidays because of their low price point, and she predicts the Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty storybooks will do well throughout the rest of the year.

“We have several schools that rotate story ballets,” Joy explains. “[Those books] will work well in my area.”