dance

Giving the Gift of Dance

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Repurposing Recital Costumes and Dancewear to Share the Joy of Dance

When the founder of Traveling Tutus Inc.®, Jenna Fleetwood, looked at all of the costumes hanging in her closet prior to leaving for college she thought to herself, “there has to be a better use for these.” After searching she soon discovered that there was a need to connect dancers in North America with aspiring dancers all around the world. Little did she know that the vision of collecting and shipping costumes would become a lifelong passion; the desire to put the gift of dance in every child hands, regardless of socio-economic status. Now 10 years later, Traveling Tutus, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, provides new and gently used dance attire to children around the world to instill confidence, self-expression, and joy through the gift of dance.

Traveling Tutus, based out of Central Florida, primarily donates to children in international orphanages, children's homes, title-one schools, foster care, hospitals, and other non-profits with a focus on children. Always sending costumes free of charge internationally, as well as domestically. In the past 10 years, thousands of children in over 30 different countries have received dance costumes.

Traveling Tutus believes unneeded costumes and dance attire are a precious resource that can be repurposed to bring joy to children all around the world. Through the collection and distribution of these no longer needed items, children all over the world experience one of life's greatest joys, dance.

As anyone involved with dance knows, dance can be used to instill confidence, give joy, and foster self-expression. A once use recital costume tucked in the back corner of a closet can do so much more good if given the chance. Traveling Tutus has always been about helping show dancers how they can use dance to make an impact. Teaching them how generosity can take on many forms, but when you seek to encourage and support others, even something as simple as donating a used costume can do so much good. 

“Traveling Tutus started out of a desire to see my own personal dance costumes go to a better cause. I had just graduated high school and had no idea just how big it would become. Through the years, it has been amazing to witness the support of thousands of dance studios, businesses, and dancers around the country. Traveling Tutus would not be what it is today without our generous partners that support us both financially and through the gift of new and gently used costumes. It is truly a team effort! I love knowing that we are not only providing dancers a place to recycle their beloved costumes but also giving joy to so many little ones around the world. I am honored to get to be a connector between the two!" says Founder, Jenna Fleetwood.

Some ways that you can spread the gift of dance:

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Become a Partner

Our monthly partners are the backbone of our growing organization! For $20/month or more you can play a huge part in sending dance-wear around the world. You can sign up at travelingtutus.org/partner

Our monthly partners allow us to be able to: 

• Ship costumes domestically

• Ship costumes internationally 

• Use the best shipping methods to make the biggest impact 

• Ship freight to multiple outreach organizations at once

• Add new countries on a regular basis 

• Provide quality dancewear to orphanages, children’s homes, low income schools/studios, hospitals, and foster care

• Share the gift of dance with hundreds of children each month

Financial Donations

If you feel led to give a donation to our mission you can do so at travelingtutus.org/give or mail a check to Traveling Tutus Admin, 213 New York Ave., St. Cloud, FL 34769. All donations are used in advancing the mission of Traveling Tutus, bringing the gift of dance to children around the world.

Create a Fundraising Page

If you love social media, you can create your very own fundraising page to share with your family and friends. Anyone can create a page! You can also create a team and together reach an even bigger goal! To learn more visit travelingtutus.org/campaign

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Donate Costume or Host a Collection Drive
Traveling Tutus is always in need of donations of ballet costumes, ballet slippers, new tights (black, pink, tan) and leotards. After gathering your items, please visit travelingtutus.org/donate for shipping instructions and to fill out our gift-in-kind form. 

Ready to Donate? Traveling Tutus will be accepting donations at Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference in Orlando July 12-14. Learn more information and register here: https://www.twinklestardanceconference.com

The Power of Suggestion in your Dance Studio

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Happy Friday!

I was working with a studio owner this week through Tiffany’s Diamond Circle and they brought up some unresolved fears they had as a business owner. It boiled down to the students at their school not really showing the level of knowledge they expected them to on stage at the recital.  

I think we can all agree that this time of year we find ourselves reevaluating our businesses and wondering how we can continue to grow and attract new customers as we enter next season. The world around us is changing so rapidly, studio owners have to come up with new ways to reach our target customer - the millennial mom.  

Today, I want to share something I imparted on my staff called the power of suggestion. Our entire campaign about registering for the new dance season was built on getting as many students as possible to take two classes (or more) per week. Spoiler alert: it worked!   

Many times potential customers call the studio and they always ask “How many classes should they take?” (listen for this and you will hear it now). Usually my staff responded with something along the lines of most dancers take dance once a week. This year we changed our tune and said most dancers take two.

Registration Day at my studios was on Thursday, April 25 and we created a buzz! We made our online schedule viewable two weeks prior; we passed out dancer evaluations with recommended classes for next season; we offered our best promotion of the year.

Then all of the content we put out around registration day was about the two classes per week being the Best Value and what the Benefits for the Dancer are. We created an infographic and shared it on our website, across our social media pages, and on the email blast about registration being open.

“Skill is gained by consistently pushing the limits of your ability, failing, and trying again. And again. The more you do this, the more skill you build.  If you are only taking one dance class, once a week, there is a limit on how fast your dancer will gain skill. Taking two dance classes per week will increase skill-building opportunities immensely!” Check out the full blog post from Tiffanydance.com here.   

I’m curious to know, what are some ways market for your new dance season? Do you offer a promotion to create a sense of urgency?

Best, Tiffany


Want more dance studio business practices to put in place this season? Catch Tiffany at the Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference July 12-14 in Orlando.

How can I avoid post-show fallout and retain dancers after recital?

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How can I avoid post-show fallout and retain dancers after recital?

You put all your energy into creating a memorable and fun dance recital. It is very disheartening when you struggle to get many of those dancers back again in the fall. In this episode, hear tips on how to prevent post-show fallout and keep those students engaged all year long with Tiffany Henderson, owner of 7 dance studios and creator of Twinkle Star Dance

Check out the latest Dance Studio 411 Podcast with Tiffany Henderson's interview below.

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Catch Tiffany Henderson live at the Twinkle Star Dance Annual Conference July 12-14 in Orlando, FL. See the full schedule and more information at www.twinklestardanceconference.com. 

Channeling Women Empowerment in your Dance Studio

Channeling Women Empowerment in your Dance Studio

Do you ever look around your studio and see all of the women connected by it? Your employees that give classes week in and week out, dancers that grow up through your program, the mother in the lobby with their new three-year-old. We own a business surrounded almost entirely by women.