On Pointe Kudos from the Pros who know Footights!


Footlights was my first job and I couldn’t be more grateful. The people I worked with soon became my second family, and some of my biggest supporters. Joy and Terry jumped at the opportunity to help me fill a suitcase full of tap shoes, almost every single pair was brand new donated from Footlights and other dancers from around the Frederick dance community, to an orphanage in Namibia. They continued to support me when I moved away to Ohio for college, with multiple last minute panic calls to the store needing random dance apparel and shoes shipped out to me.

Even now they continue to open their arms to me and I rarely skip a trip into the store hoping to see Terry and Joy and other familiar faces. Footlights has been my only place for shoes, even though I have lived in Orlando, Florida for 6 years.  I haven’t stepped foot into another dance store!  A simple call to my favorite store, and I know I will get exactly what I need.

I now live in Orlando and perform in shows and parades across Walt Disney World including, the Festival of the Lion King , the Festival of Fantasy, and Move It-Shake It Play & Dance to name just a few.  Along with dancing all day in the parks, I teach dance and choreograph for Susan’s Danceworks and work with entertainment companies doing gigs around the Orlando area.  Love Footlights!!

Courtney RichardsonDancer

Footlights is so near and dear to my heart it’s hard to express in words. Terry fit me for my very first pair of pointe shoes, which is an extremely life-changing moment for a young ballerina. Since then I’ve always bought my pointe shoes from Footlights. Those pointe shoes have danced at Philadelphia Museum of the Arts, summer intensives including the Richmond Ballet, Nutmeg Conservatory, Houston Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre and also professionally with Pages to Pirouettes, the Nashville Ballet and Louisville Ballet, at the Kennedy Center in DC and now in San Diego with Dark Horse Dance Productions.  Footlights is still my go to store even though I’m on the other side of the country dancing now!

Sarah VaalerProfessional Dancer

Joy Ellis, the founder and proprietor of Footlights, has been a wonderful part of my life for as long as I can remember.  She has always loved dance and supported theater whole-heartedly.  She has been involved in community theater, e.g., building costumes for years (she still collaborates with Bodytree’s costume mistress in putting together costumes for half-a-world away!).   She has a keen sense of the dance world and the market for dance and theater apparel.  She is a jewel and Frederick and the surrounding areas are fortunate to have a treasure like Footlights.  I love visiting the store—it a wonderful shopping experience and I always come out inspired (toting new dance apparel and accessories) and ready to go back to the dance studio.

Susan KaufmannBallet & Pilates TeacherBodytree

Footlights has been there for me from the very beginning of my dance training. The store was located just up the street from my dance studio, Dance Unlimited, in Frederick, MD. When I began dancing at the age of 7 and up until the time I left for college at 18, Footlights was THE source of all of my dance wear and shoes. The staff was so friendly and always made me feel so special each and every time I walked into the store. When photos of me dancing were put on display in the store, I was extremely humbled and honored to be a permanent part of the shop. I still have a pair of tap shoes I bought 10 years ago at Footlights, and every time I put them on either for an audition or a show, I think of home and and smile because of Footlights.

Andrew MetzgarProfessional Dancer

Footlights fit me for my first ballet slippers, first jazz shoes, first character shoes, first tap shoes, and my first pointe shoes: Freed Studios. I have remained a Footlights customer for close to twenty years now.

As my feet grew and developed, Footlights always found the perfect pointe shoes for me. After joining the Joffrey Concert Group, I found my feet had changed and I got fitted in NYC for many different brands of pointe shoes. None of them were quite right. On a trip home, I went to Footlights hoping they would find the shoe I needed. Ms. Joy had me try Capezio Tiffany. I have been wearing them for almost two years and love them! I highly recommend Footlights to anyone looking for the right pointe shoe, whether you are just beginning or dancing at an advanced level. Footlights carries just about every brand of pointe shoe in a great variety of sizes. No store in NYC can match this.

Maggie KudirkaBald Ballerina

I am originally from Frederick, MD and have been customer of Footlights since they first opened. I now live and work in NYC but somehow I always find myself buying my shoes in Footlights. I’ve been lucky enough to dance and swing across the stage in Spider-man: Turn off the Dark on Broadway, tour with Twyla Tharp’s Movin’ Out and dance alongside the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. Each of these shows I rehearsed in a pair of shoes bought at Footlights. My wife, who is a professional dancer, has also become a customer of the store.

Its always nice to come into the store and see familiar faces and how much the store has grown since I was 10 years old buying black pattern leather tap shoes. Thank you Footlights for all the help throughout my career. I feel you are truly a staple in the dance community in Frederick, MD.

Drew HeflinDancer

Footlights has been there literally since day one of my career! The establishment is a godsend! With the amount of dance classes and rehearsals I had growing up I was always in need of something; leotards, tights, shoes, a new snood for class. When it was time for my first pair of pointe shoes, I of course went with my mom straight to Footlights! I tried on so many shoes, I think I tried on every style in the store! And I remember being told not to break the shoes there when I was trying them on!

While being a boarding student at the Kirov Academy, my mother would still pick up my pointe shoes from Footlights and send them off to me at school. So from the beginning of my career, Footlights has always been the 1st go to! I wish I could put a store like Footlights in NYC!

Audrey ThelemanRocketteRadio City Rockettes

JYP has been a proud partner with Footlights since its inception. The service and professionalism Footlights offers its customers is unparalleled, not to mention its engagement with the local dance community

Mark OrsbornCo-FounderThe JaM Project
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