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Dance teachers play a big role in dance retail. Make that roles.

First, they can be loyal and regular customers, since they’re always in search of stylish dance apparel suited to their unique needs: They want to be comfortable and project professionalism at the front of a dance class. In “What Dancers Want,” three teachers in different dance genres talk about what they most want from dance retailers. And in our Fashion section, see some of the latest looks that offer the coverage and function teachers want.

Second, it’s not uncommon for dance teachers to become storeowners themselves, as we’ve seen in the pages of DRN. In the case of Loretta Dub, owner of Loretta’s Dance Boutique and this month’s Retailer Spotlight, she has managed to combine the various threads of her dance life—teaching, retail, dance-themed events—into a creative business strategy with multiple revenue streams. Learn about the advantages and challenges of her business in “More Than the Sum of Its Parts.”

Finally, for retailers, there’s a third role teachers play—as influencers of young dancers and where they shop. Win teachers’ trust, and you have a direct line to each year’s new crop of young dancers, who could become your customers for life. (That trust is nothing to be taken for granted, storeowners tell us; see next month’s Seen & Heard for tactics storeowners use to stay in touch with their local teachers.)

Don’t Miss! Three ideas for creative backdrops to draw attention to your displays—how-tos included—in this month’s “Ask Leslie” column. We always love seeing what new merchandise and window displays you’ve come up with. Send photos to DRNeditor@dancemedia.com.

Photo courtesy of Claire Mazza

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