dance costumes

Permission to Celebrate

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I don’t know about you, but the moment I look forward to the most during long recital days is the “after party.” I just completed my 19th season as a dance studio owner and taking time to commemorate the event is more important than ever. As the years slip away, I feel the need to hold tighter to the special moments and attempt to slow the pace of time passing. Depending on where you are in your time as a dance studio owner this message will mean different things.  

I remember being a mom of two young children and just wanting to see the end of the recital, so I could get some rest. Even back then, my husband Paul and I made it a priority to celebrate with a pizza dinner or something fun. Our little kids would come with us, sometimes sleeping at the table, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We were together and it taught our children to exist in many situations, that life wasn’t always all about them, and the value of working hard at something they loved.

We also made family vacations a priority after the dance recital season ended. The expectation of the trip we would take together gave us all energy. It also gave me quality time to spend with my family, free from distractions and away from the demands of the studio. In retrospect, these celebrations and family trips were also the fuel for my continued enthusiasm for my job.

A celebration can be as simple as a small family dinner or party, vacation, or time that you give yourself to reflect and recharge. Often times these “celebrations” are skipped because we are in constant “work” mode with the never ending tasks that continue immediately following our big year-end event called “recital.” It is hard for us to get off the train!  

The other reason we miss our celebration time is good old-fashioned guilt. Do we really deserve to take time off when so many people and tasks require our attention? We already have parents and staff questioning our dedication to their children and asking why we would benefit from the work we do. How would a tropical vacation be received by the mom who thinks I should be giving free solo lessons to her child every day in the summer?  

We consider these questions because we are one giant, collective group of people pleasers, who also happen to be really passionate about our work. The problem is that our work suffers when we do. Time to celebrate and reflect makes us stronger and ultimately more successful - better leaders, teachers, and family members. When we accomplish something and don't take the time to celebrate, we are robbing ourselves of an important feeling that reinforces our success.  

I know we love our dance families so much and sometimes it doesn’t feel like work, but don’t make the mistake of not taking the time to enjoy your life with the people you love and that includes YOURSELF. From one dance studio owner friend to another, I give you permission to celebrate! Go book that vacation and don’t forget to post photos so we can all celebrate together.

Tiffany

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





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