August 22, 2018

Theresa Java/Free Press
DanceXcetera owners Talia Gomez, left, Carla Tiedemann and Shirley Wilson ready their shop for opening day before dance classes resume in the fall.

Theresa Java/Free Press DanceXcetera owners Talia Gomez, left, Carla Tiedemann and Shirley Wilson ready their shop for opening day before dance classes resume in the fall.

KEY LARGO — With glitter on the painted pink walls, the new dancewear shop DanceXcetera looks more like a sugar plum fairy stage set than an actual store, but for many dance moms and dads, this is a dream come true.

This means dancers can find the clothes and equipment needed without crossing county lines, according to Shirley Wilson, who cofounded the boutique.

Wilson, Carla Tiedemann and Talia Gomez have daughters enrolled in dance classes and competitions. They shared the plight of having to travel more than 50 miles to the mainland to find the dancewear their children needed, which ultimately drove them to open their own local storefront.

“We would have pop-up events before we had this space to help everyone get what they needed, or we would order online and hope that things would fit,” Tiedemann said. “Just to be safe, we’d order a few sizes.”

DanceXcetera carries high performance dance and athletic wear with brands like Capezio, the gold-star standard for many dancers, and Onzie and Marika for athletes.

“These clothes are good for the Keys environment. They’re good for yoga and standup paddleboarding. If they get wet, they dry quickly,” Gomez said.

The store carries a wide range of sizes from toddler to adult 2X and has a lot of shoes. There are rows of jazz shoes, mesh jazz shoes, tap shoes, ballet slippers, hip hop sneakers and huge shoes that look like they should be worn to walk on the moon.

“They’re warm-up booties. They’re worn over the shoe before recitals or practice to get dancers’ feet warmed up,” Gomez said.

There are rows of leotards, leggings and hair bows to adorn chignons.

As a dance mom, Wilson said her must-have item is the Hairpin Pal, a magnetic bobby pin holder.

“They have to wear their hair up all the time and bobby pins multiply. They are everywhere unless you need one. This thing keeps them all together,” she said as she vacuumed up hair pins with it.

The store also carries lotions that sparkle, eyeliner applicators to stamp wings, and razors for on-the-go. In the back corner sits a small stage, complete with mirror, ballet barre and torso building contraption to balance on.

“We also carry a foot stretcher, to help with warm-ups,” Gomez said. “The mirror is to make sure the leotard fits comfortably while moving.”

She explained that the shop name, DanceXcetera, comes from the concept of carrying more than quality dancewear and athletic wear.

“And etcetera is often abbreviated with ellipses and there are three of us,” she said of her partnership.

Wilson said that they plan to continue their pop-up events and are developing a schedule that may include swap events, pointe shoe fittings, last-minute recital costumes and more.

DanceXcetera is planning a grand opening ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 8. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, with a half-day on Saturday. Hours may be adjusted.

DanceXcetera is located at 93911 Overseas Highway, suite 1. For more information, visit dancexcetera.com, email hello@dancexcetera.com or call 305-432-7338.

tjava@keysnews.com