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On Stage Dancewear: Fulfilling dancers wants

Dance in NYC has modified quite a bit over time, however a couple of issues stay the identical. The elevator at Steps on Broadway might be as sluggish in the present day because it was 40 years in the past, and the packed stock at On Stage Dancewear is as sturdy as ever, additionally 40 years in operation. 

Located on the east aspect removed from Lincoln Middle, Instances Sq., New York Metropolis Middle and the studios on the west aspect, this gem has such an array of choices that one can simply whereas away an hour with all of the leotards, sneakers and equipment with out realizing it. It’s the final remaining unbiased dance retailer in Manhattan, and certainly one of two in all of NYC. 

On Stage Dancewear.
On Stage Dancewear.

New York is fortunate have Bloch, Capezio, Yumiko, Freed of London and LaDuca, all with storefronts in numerous areas, however if you need all these manufacturers and extra in a single place, it’s important to head to On Stage.

Began in 1980, by Israeli immigrants Greta and Edward Marshall as a hosiery retailer, the store serviced the gross sales girls who labored throughout the road on the famed B. Altman division retailer, which then required stockings for all girls. Ronnie Marshall, Greta and Edward’s son and present proprietor of the shop, explains how they transitioned to a dance store, 

“Again then, there have been no dance outlets,” he reveals. “And there wasn’t the choice we have now in the present day. We solely had pink lengthy sleeve and quick sleeve leotards, and pink and black tights. However for those who did need to purchase a leotard and tights, you needed to go to a hosiery retailer. By the mid-‘80s, that enterprise class began to develop, and we launched extra merchandise and sneakers.” 

Ronnie Marshall (right).
Ronnie Marshall (proper).

Flash ahead to in the present day, and you will discover a list not like the rest at On Stage. Ronnie admits it’s not probably the most environment friendly technique to run a enterprise, however he prefers to maintain issues old style, figuring out he’ll have that random merchandise for somebody once they want it probably the most. 

“Possibly, annually, somebody goes to stroll in and ask for an orange, off-the-shoulder leotard, and I’ll have that orange off-the-shoulder leotard.”

Alexandra Hutchinson, dancer with Dance Theater of Harlem, found a full-body, fishnet unitard on her go to. She scooped it up straight away, noting that it could are available helpful in some unspecified time in the future and she or he had by no means seen something prefer it. If not for dancing, the store has many enjoyable objects like this for use for costumes or photograph shoots. 

Ronnie takes delight in providing a wide selection of nude leotards and tights for everybody. As quickly as manufacturers began providing extra than simply black and pink, he began stocking stock that companies all shades of pores and skin tones. 

Leotards at On Stage Dancewear.
Leotards at On Stage Dancewear.

Fulfilling the wants of dancers in NYC (and past – he ships anyplace) has been the driving pressure of On Stage because it transitioned to a dance retailer within the Eighties. From fundamentals, to selection, to oddities, Ronnie is dedicated to creating it work so long as doable. However as locations like this shutter daily within the metropolis, he is aware of it’s a big gamble that may not final perpetually. 

However for now, Ronnie is aware of what worth he brings to the dance neighborhood and hopes it’s sufficient to maintain the enterprise going. For that, he depends on dancers coming in to strive on myriad manufacturers of sneakers, figuring out how necessary the appropriate shoe is. 

“The worth is to strive on the sneakers,” he says. “Sneakers are an extension of the dancer’s physique.” 

Leotards and skirts at On Stage Dancewear.
Leotards and skirts at On Stage Dancewear.

And he reminded this reporter on her method out, in an indication of the instances, “Order your pointes sneakers now. There’s a pointe shoe scarcity!” 

That could be a exhausting reality for a lot of dancers, however Ronnie has hundreds of pairs in inventory. 

On Stage Dancewear is situated at 197 Madison Avenue (between 34th and 35th Streets) in NYC. For extra data and to buy, go to You possibly can observe the shop on Instagram: @onstagedancewearnyc. Comply with Alexandra Hutchinson on Instagram as nicely: @a_ballerina_.

By Emily Sarkissian of Dance Informa. 



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