Growing Through Arts® Retailer: Performers Wearhouse

Performers Wearhouse When Michael Porter, store manager for Performers Wearhouse in Indianapolis, first saw the Peter and the Wolf Storybook by Aleksandra® at the Midwest Dance Retail Show, he knew he had to carry the Growing Through Arts® line of books and toys at his store.

“Peter and the Wolf was one of my childhood memories,” says. “It was a had-to-have-it item.”

Porter vividly remembers watching an animated movie about Peter and the Wolf when he was in elementary school. “I actually remember practically every sight and sound of it,” he says. “The story definitely stuck.”

Porter says customers have been raving about the books’ beautiful illustrations since they started carrying them in February. “The craftsmanship, the quality, the drawings – they’re just art,” he says. “They just stand out so well and are really well done.”

Performers Wearhouse was opened by James Allman, owner of the nearby dance studio Dance Rhythms, in September 2010. The store caters to young students who are starting out in ballet, gymnastics and cheerleading, and unlike many dance stores, it also has a martial arts section, which attracts boys as well as girls.

Porter says he feels the Growing Through Arts® line of books and toys are very appealing to both genders, which makes it perfect for his store. “My parents took me to Sleeping Beauty growing up, and the Nutcracker is definitely not a ballet just for girls,” he says.

Plus, Porter says the books are important because they give children a cultural context for what they are studying. “Kids these days get Facebook, and I’m not saying Facebook is bad, but unless [the arts] are really emphasized by the parents, I don’t think they get much exposure,” Porter says.

Porter is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Growing Through Arts® Music Series books, in addition to the Ballet Series. “I really want a copy of Peter and the Wolf for myself,” Porter says. “I’m 34, but I want one anyway.”