Russian Pointe® Retailer: Got Dance
“The girls’ feet have gotten a lot bigger,” she says, adding that many dancers now wear a size 8 or 9. “They need a good base that’s going to support them, and what better to do that than Russian Pointe®?”
Eckley has been an enthusiastic fan of Russian Pointe® shoes ever since she took over Marx Activewear, located in Kettering, OH, in August 2010 and renamed it Got Dance. She completely gutted the store, and re-opened it as a destination for dancers ― especially those who dance en pointe.
When she first opened, she only had three pairs of Russian Pointe® shoes in stock, but today, Eckley has at least 150 to 160 pairs of Russian Pointe® shoes on hand at all times.
Eckley says she started carrying Russian Pointe® shoes because of their elegant lines and variety of makes and models that help dancers find the perfect fit. “I absolutely loved the concept of the shoe,” Eckley says. “You were getting a really custom-made shoe at an affordable price.”
At first, Eckley says it was hard to get dance studio owners to embrace Russian Pointe® shoes because the owners were former dancers who had outdated ideas about pointe shoes, such as that shoes will never fit perfectly, or that you have to bend or warp your shoes to “break them in.”
Now, however, Eckley says studio owners are beginning to understand that Russian Pointe®’s various options in widths, lengths, and shanks let dancers create a customized fit that is comfortable from the very first time you wear them.
In fact, two of the major dance schools that Eckley serves have now converted their students almost exclusively to Russian Pointe® shoes.
Eckley says having a wide variety of Russian Pointe® styles in stock is important in getting customers to try the brand because the more makes and models you carry, the better able you are to fit each dancer perfectly without having to place a custom order.
Running a dancewear retail store is a coming home of sorts for Eckley, who trained in modern dance, jazz and tap before a serious car accident stopped her from dancing. After spending 25 years as a hair stylist, Eckley says she is thrilled to be back in the world of dance.
Today, Eckley drives her 13-year-old daughter to ballet, and she attends as many dance performances as possible, including all of the shows and recitals put on by the local dance companies.
“I got into this because my passion is dance,” she says. “I think it’s the most wonderful thing you can do for your soul.”