By Emily G. Peters
The key to becoming a great dancer? Mastering the moves, of course. But the first step in that direction might happen even before setting foot on the dance floor.
“Look the part,” said Sarah Gallegos, who took over as owner of Enchanted Dancewear about a year ago. “You could literally take a dance class in a T-shirt and workout pants, but the more you look the part, the better you feel about dancing and that can improve your form a little bit, too.”
Gallegos should know. A dancer since age two, she studied at Los Angeles County High School for the arts and has taught folklorico (Mexican folk dancing) for years. Like ballet, the dance derives a good deal of its beauty from its gorgeous outfits, designed to complement the moves. At Enchanted Dancewear in Monrovia, Gallegos offers key basics like leotards, tights, shoes (for men, women and children) and more to do the same. The challenge is getting the right fit.
“Dance clothing and shoes don’t run like normal clothes do, even within the same brand. People will come in because they buy dance shoes on Amazon and get disappointed because they don’t work,” Gallegos explained. “We do professional shoe fittings here because it’s so important to come in to try things on, learn how your foot works and get properly fitted. It all impacts the efficacy of your dancing.”
Since finding her own footing as a business owner, Gallegos has also introduced some changes at Enchanted Dancewear. Her husband, an engineer, helped her create their version of a “selfie stage,” a portable dance surface ideal for practice and impromptu performances – only more lightweight and easier on your joints than other options. Being a mom-and-pop operation, the shop is also family-friendly – Gallegos own two children are regulars there and her “Adult Nights” are growing in popularity.
“I pick a different dance genre for each night: salsa, vogue, etc., have a cocktail hour first and then we do a dance class,” she said. “A lot of my friends will say ‘You don’t wanna see me dancing!’ – and to that I say it’s not about being the best or most flexible, but it’s about relaxing, learning about your body and having fun. It doesn’t have to be about competition.”
Along with a helpful online shop, Enchanted Dancewear also takes its services on the road with “mobile sales,” where Gallegos visits local schools to outfit several students at once. It makes it easier on the kids and better connects Enchanted Dancewear with its community – one that Gallegos loves.
“Everyone makes fun of me because I’m like the infomercial for Monrovia: ‘The schools are great! The farmers market is great! You should move here!’” she laughed. “We’ve moved here five years ago and now I never want to leave. I just want everyone to know Enchanted Dancewear is here…because we ended up in a very special place.”
Enchanted Dancewear is located at 403 S. Myrtle Avenue in Old Town Monrovia. For more information, contact Enchanted Dancewear at enchanteddancewear.org | 626-386-5302 and follow along on Facebook @enchanteddancewear and Instagram @enchanted_dancewear.