Shop: Dancewear Center
Store Owner: Samantha Weissbach
Location: Kirkland, Washington
Expertise: Pointe Shoe Fitting
Dancewear Center, Kirkland, WA
What is your background and what led you to start your business?
I am dancer, choreographer, and teacher who was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. For many years, I worked in both the arts scene and the corporate sphere in sales; however, my heart and soul has always belonged to dance.
Samantha Weissbach, PC: Munoz Motions
I had worked previously with the former owners of Dancewear Center in fitting my own pointe students, and when they decided to retire in 2018, I took a leap of faith in purchasing DWC. I wanted to continue to provide excellent fittings and grow and deepen DWC’s knowledge of fitting, resulting in each dancer who gets fitted by DWC leaving their appointment feeling more educated and empowered when it comes to their pointe shoes.
Olivia Floyd & Samantha Weissbach; Dancewear Center, Kirkland, WA
What keeps you going and doing what you're doing as a store owner?
My greatest passion in life is supporting others. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that in some small way, my gifts and expertise have contributed to another’s success. My staff and I are completely dedicated to our dancing community and their individual journeys. We're in it for the long haul!
What do you love most about providing dancewear to your community?
To add on to my previous answer, nothing makes us happier than knowing we are contributing to the success of our dancing community! It's a joy to know that we can simplify the process of shopping for dance apparel, training tools, and pointe shoes by sharing our expertise. We love finding individual solutions that for each dancer that chooses to shop with us!
What are some favorite brands that your store carries, and why?
We love all of the brands at DWC, it's so hard to pick just a few! PointePeople is definitely in our top favorites - easy to use, and so fun to work with. We also love to support other small, local businesses in our area such as SundayOutfitters (owned by PNB ballerina Juliet Prine), GirlPower Sport (gymnastics wear run by local Mercer Island mom Lisa Fairman) and Lasso Leos (custom, upcycled leotards created by local professional dancer Hayley Maddox)
Dancewear Center, Kirkland, WA
What sets your store apart from other dancewear retailers, and why?
Our team of dancers is for dancers. We believe that every body is a dancing body and make it our personal mission to empower each dancer through continuous support and product education. We are dedicated to continuing education, so we are providing the best recommendations to our dancing family!
Are there any new dancewear and/or accessory trends you’ve noticed lately?
Masks? Haha, kidding, but not really? The theme for the last year has definitely been joy and fun. I think everyone has been looking for ways to brighten their spirits during a really difficult year. Brightly colored and patterned leotards from brands like Chameleon (by ABT Ballerina April Giangeruso), Jule Dancewear (by former Miami City Ballet Ballerina Julia Cinquemani) , and Ainsliewear have been favorites, as well as the always classic skirts by Bullet Pointe!
What are some of your best-selling products?
Aside from pointe shoes, our clients love all the products by Apolla Performance! Apolla offers targeted compression wear for dancers and athletes that help reduce inflammation and absorb shock - keeping you dancing longer and stronger!
A lot of dancers struggle to find pointe shoes that fit correctly and flatter their feet. Do you have any advice for finding the perfect pair of pointe shoes?
Working with a professional fitter is a must! We keep up to date on the latest industry releases, medical advancements, and fitting practices, and love collaborating with dancers to find a shoe that works best - both aesthetically and functionally. There are so many new models and technologies being developed for pointe shoes, chances are there's a shoe out there for you and your unique needs!
In your opinion, is there a “must-have” item for any dancer or specific type of dancer?
Apolla Performance products! In addition to the benefits I mentioned before (targeted compression that helps reduce inflammation and absorb shock) Apolla is woman-owned, USA made, and has received the seal of approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association!
What made you make the decision to carry Pointe Paint?
When I took over DWC in late 2018, it was obvious to me that we needed to provide more options for our dancers of color in terms of fleshtone tights, undergarments, and shoes. Pointe paint is an easy, super-quick, no-mess alternative to pancaking and has made the process much less labor intensive. The fun colors have also come in handy for Halloween costumes, photoshoots, and special variations!
What’s one thing you want customers to know about you and/or your store?
Each of us here at DWC want to support all of you: the amazing artists that make up our vibrant Pacific Northwest dancing community. We want to be one of your trusted consultants that helps you dance your strongest, safest, and most confidently. If there’s ever any way the team at DWC can support you and your dancing aspirations—please don’t hesitate to reach out!