Megan Villasurda, 26, had a longtime dream of opening up her own dance store but realized the community already had Bottoms Up as their go-to dance supply store.
“I really wanted to do this for like five years,” Villasurda said. “but I did not want to compete with them because they had all the contacts and over 40 years of business.”
When Bottoms Up closed in May, she was encouraged by her friend and boss to make her dream a reality so in August, Villasurda opened her store at 2395 Jolly Road.
“I gave her a call when I heard Bottoms Up was closing and said, ‘this is your sign,’” said Kick It Out Dance Studio owner, Denise Krumm.
Villasurda had been teaching at Kick It Out Dance Studio for six years.
“She has been talking about opening up a store ever since she started working for me,” Krumm said.
With support from the people around her, Villasurda reached out to Bottoms Up and purchased their “purple book”, which is a document that contains a list of all the dance studios in Michigan and their shoe requirements.
“Everyone has their preference so it is a really good reference to be able to stock the right stuff,” Villasurda said.
To make sure she is up-to-date on inventory, Villasurda also provides a benefit to dance studio owners when they inform her of changes.
“If studio owners call us and update their requirements, they get a 15 percent discount for all of their students,” Villasurda said.
Besides stocking all the required footwear, Dancy Pantz Boutique carries a variety of items.
“We have lots of leotards, practice wear, tights, accessories, bags, booties, yoga pants and fitness wear,” Villasurda said.
Even with the variety of inventory, she is constantly looking to improve.
“If we do not have something a customer needs, we try to order it,” said Villasurda. “We want to make sure we get it in the shop at some point.”
Although she is the face of the store, Villasurda makes sure to credit her husband for all that he does behind-the-scenes.
“John does all the marketing and the website,” Villasurda said. “I probably could not do it without him because he is the brains behind it.”
Villasurda explained that her husband had no background in dance and learned all he knows from reading books from the library.
“She and John make a great team,” said Villasurda’s father, Larry Hewitt. “I am proud of how well they work together.”
With the help of her husband, she balances her time between working at the store and continuing to teach dance at Class Act Competitive Dance Company and Kick It Out Dance Studio.
“She is a really hard worker,” said Villasurda’s mother, Amy Hewitt. “She has always held multiple jobs at a time.”
Villasurda spends more time at the store during the weekend and teaches dance more during the week. On the weekends, customers look forward to seeing Villasurda’s friendly cat, Otis, working alongside her.
“He is more like a dog than a cat,” Villasurda said. “Otis loves the Dancy Pantz customers.”
Dancy Pantz Boutique is open on Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 A.M. to 7 P.M., Saturdays from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. and Sundays from noon to 4 P.M.