It All Began in Frederick, Maryland

In the summer of 1991, a determined dance mom, Joy Ellis, opened a small dance boutique. She saw firsthand the demand to have dance supplies in the area, not just for her own children, but for the other dancers struggling to find convenient, affordable, high quality dancewear.

Joy’s natural ability for spotting quality materials as a seamstress allowed her to confidently offer high quality dance apparel at an affordable price, locally. She strived to bring as much variety as she could, to provide her community with everything they needed and more. As she established Footlights within the dance retail community as the go to dance shop, she made an impact on the vendors with her cutting-edge fitting techniques. Today, with over thirty years of experience, Joy is considered a master fitter by dance retailers and vendors across the nation.

As the company grew, her children grew up too. Following in Joy's footsteps is her son, Joe, and her daughter-in-law, Molly. Joe grew up with Footlights, learning the ins and outs of the company from an early age. As he got older, Joy continued to share in the life of business with her son. Her legacy, passion and knowledge are carried on to the next generation with Joe and Molly. Today, they run Footlights together, not just as partners, but as family. 

With multiple Boutique locations, Footlights is constantly looking for ways to be the most convenient and reliable source of high-quality dance supplies in the area. Without the constant support of local studios and dance communities, Footlights would not be where it is today. Every day Footlights is looking for ways to give back to the community who has given so much support over the years. Our employees strive to uphold the same impeccable customer service Joy started over thirty years ago. Each staff member is trained to help you find everything you need and more. The Footlights values, knowledge and experience, make shopping with us a truly unique learning, and welcoming environment for dancers of all ages. Experience Footlights for yourself and your family today.

For the serious dancer, there is only one choice!

Meet The Team

Joy Ellis – Founder

Joy opened the doors to Footlights in the summer of 1991. Although she has retired, her expertise and experiences over the decades are key notes that get passed down to each employee during their training process.

Joe Ellis – Co-Owner | Pointe Shoe Master Fitter, Pointe Shoe Alterations Master

As the son of Joy, Joe has grown up in a world of dance and theater. Spending most of his time at Footlights, the family business has been part of his life from a very early age. Joe attended West Virginia University and got his degree in Business Management. He’s had his fair share of experiences with many different companies across the U.S., before coming back home to Footlights. He has worked a multitude of customer service centric positions, and handled various management positions overseeing inventory and distribution for large chain retailers. He continues to research world-wide trends to keep Footlights relevant and ahead of the curve. These days, you’ll often find him in store offering the best of Footlights to our clients & up-holding the impeccable customer service we’re known for.

Molly Ellis - Co-Owner | Senior Pointe Shoe Fitter, Senior Pointe Shoe Alterations Specialist

Molly has been with Footlights for almost a decade. Her background crosses a multitude of areas. With Footlights, she utilizes her expertise in social media/marketing, business management and customer service. Her unique experiences within businesses both on a small platform and cooperate platform, allowed her to help pave the way for new training techniques and internal structural growth within Footlights. Today, Molly continues to help find new and pioneering endeavors to maintain Footlights as a leader of the industry. She oversees the technical development and intricacies behind the scenes at Footlights.


Boutique Director | Senior Pointe Shoe Fitter, Master Pointe Shoe Alterations Specialist

Ezzie’s extensive background with Footlights has spanned over a decade. She began as a part time sales associate to our Boutique operation in Frederick in January of 2010, shortly before the expansion of the sales floor. When we opened our Silver Spring boutique in 2012, Ezzie was promoted to Boutique Manager of Footlights Frederick. As Footlights grew, Ezzie’s roles expanded to cover distribution and purchasing assistant while still maintaining her role as Boutique Manager. As we continued to shift roles in 2018 to optimize our abilities to assist our client base, Ezzie took on Distribution Management full time. In the summer of 2022, Ezzie moved into the role of Boutique Director, overseeing the day to day operations of our various departments, with emphasis on maximizing the client experience online and in person at both locations. She’s one of our most experienced fitters at Footlights and loves to help dancers find their prefect fit!


Distribution Administrator in Training

Kailey recently took over our Distribution department in August 2022. More on Kailey coming soon!

Footlights Frederick Boutique Team

Footlights Frederick is our founding, flagship boutique, established in 1991. It remains the largest Footlights boutique today. We expanded this location in 2010 to allow more floor space for your convenience. This location sports four spacious dressing rooms and the most expansive selection of dance supplies in the area!


Boutique Associate Manager | Pointe Fitter

Kim joined the Footlights Team in the Spring of 2022. She came along just as we were getting ready for Summer Intensives.

Kim has decades of experience in retail management, and has spent many years in the dance world, surrounded by a family of dancers.

She loves to stay active and keeps the shop racks looking fresh with the latest styles.

Next time you're at the Frederick Boutique, be sure to say hello!


Sales Associate | Senior Pointe Fitter, Senior Pointe Shoe Alterations Specialist

Brennan joined Footlights full time in January of 2012, she worked as an associate for a few years before taking on Distribution management. In 2018, she then transitioned to Purchasing Manager. In the Spring of 2019, Brennan took a hiatus to pursue a new career. While voulenteering during our busy Back to Dance seasons over 2020-2021, in the Spring of 2022, Brennan officially returned in a more permanent role as a weekend sales associate providing her decades worth of expertise to the Frederick Boutique. She loves fitting pointe shoes and is excited to help clients find the perfect fit!

Footlights Silver Spring Boutique Team

Footlights Silver Spring was established in the Summer of 2012. Expanding the floor space of Frederick wasn’t enough, we felt the demand to open in the DMV, a calling for our expertise and expansive selection to be more convenient to our shoppers. The Silver Spring Boutique boasts three dressing rooms, and the same variety of selection of dance supplies as our Frederick Boutique. Don’t be fooled by our smaller size, we’ve optimized the space to hold everything you need & more!


Boutique Manager | Pointe Fitter | Pointe Shoe Alternations Specialist

Miranda has been a lifelong dancer, with twenty years in the performing arts world. When asked, she'll tell you tap is her favorite style of dance. Being a customer first and now an employee, Miranda has a special knack for picking out the perfect leotard for every dancer that comes in. She's currently in training to fit pointe shoes & on the path towards Store Management. Next time you stop in, be sure to say hello to Miranda! She is happy to help you find the perfect fit every day!


Sales Associate | Pointe Shoe Fitter

Gigi has been with us since the summer of 2012, she started just before the grand opening of the Silver Spring Boutique! Her training was, as she likes to call it, a “crash course” in the manic mode which is Back to Dance Season. Since then, Gigi has learned all about each and every product Footlights carries over the years. Gigi regularly works weekends and shares her time at the Frederick Boutique when we need an extra helping hand. As a former dance mom, Gigi has seen the dance world from the perspective that many of our clients see it, from behind the stage. But she’s not just a dance mom! Gigi has also been known to slide on some ballroom shoes & hit the floor. Her years of knowledge both personally & at Footlights makes her a gem to work with. She’s professionally trained to fit all of our shoes, including pointe shoes.  Come say hello to Gigi today!


Sales Associate | Pointe Shoe Fitter, Pointe Shoe Alterations Specialist

Alex started her journey with us in 2014. Over the years, Alex has kept a close relationship with Footlights while in full pursuit of her career as a lawyer. When she’s at Footlights, you can find her lending her expertise in her favorite element: pointe shoe fittings. 


Sales Associate in Training

Natalie recently joined the Footlights Silver Spring crew in January of 2023 as a full time associate. More on Natalie coming soon!