Is this a sign?

Is this a sign?

Yesterday, I was shook!  In a good way.  

For some context - most retailers have a markdown/increase schedule.  Typically, once a year (January) new prices are dished out.  This is usually the timing that we have to comply with certain vendors (there are oh so many rules) to increase our pricing.  You know, because they compete with us instead of working as a unit to sell their products (again, there are some gems out there that are amazing).  So, they are allowed to have sales on said products, but we aren't.  It's super fun.

However, I'm not typical, so I don't follow that schedule.  I like to make my own rules.  I have the boutique marked in sections, and do price changes according to MY schedule (unless I HAVE to by said rules).  Basically every section gets reviewed FOUR times a year.  And by review I mean, not necessarily increased, but decreased if possible.  

Also for context, and I promise I'll get to what has me shook...

When I first opened, 2 months before Covid, I was super competitive in pricing - even with the big guys.  If I was a dollar more for a shoe, I chalked it up to our always FREE fittings and getting the right size the first time is always a win.  I even heard from customers how our prices on xyz were cheaper than another one of the big guys!  Go me!  

However, since Covid, we have all been dealing with backorders + price increases.  It's awful.  Especially one of the most horrific increases last fall that I have ever seen.  I mean, completely ridiculous.  It was painful to do, but again, no choice.  I understood it then, but I've been saying for a while, I'm not understanding why the prices are not coming back down.  If demand/backorders on MOST things are no longer an issue, why is the pricing not reflecting that?  

Well, yesterday ( I told you I would get there)....

I was able to LOWER the prices on multiple of our high sell through products, and I'm not done yet!  I didn't think I would see the day!  I truly hope this is a sign for things to come, but just know, from one parent to another, I will ALWAYS stay as competitive as I'm allowed to + will continue to use our loyalty app + whatever else I can to save you time and money.  Plus, we're pretty fun + cool around here, so if you haven't tried us yet, you should :)  




It's the most wonderful time of the year.  You've been driving back + forth to the studio for months preparing for the big stage.  Nerves are at an all time high.  Here are some tips to make your experience (and your dancer's) the best it can be.


Making a list of essentials ahead of time will make sure you're off to a great start.  Not just for the competition, but for the hotel as well.  Don't forget the essentials like easy snacks, make up wipes and a dancer emergency kit!  

Pro tip:  Have a spreadsheet of each routine.  Put every item you need for each routine including hair pieces, shoes + tights into a garment bag and label it.  This will make quick changes so much easier.



Get into the habit of shopping ahead of time.  About a month prior, make sure you have all of the items you will need.  Do NOT wait until the day before to pack! 

Pro tip:  Hang all of your garment bags on your competition bag and double check that you have everything.  During the competition, have your child throw everything INTO the competition bag so that you aren't missing shoes when you get home.  Don't worry about organizing now.  Save that task for when you get home.  After the competition, re-assemble everything like you're leaving again tomorrow.  Inspect tights for runs and make sure you aren't missing anything essential.  Taking care of this now will save you a lot of stress later, especially if you need to find or replace an item.



Have the times of each routine jotted down.  I used a spreadsheet!  Most studios have a required time to be there.  Plan out how long it will take you to get ready and start even earlier than that!  Things happen.  

Pro tip:  Figure out what time you need to start getting ready and add 30-45 minutes to that time.  If you're a little early, it will give you time to warm up and relax before the fun begins!


Don't beat yourself up!  Competitions are LONG and exhausting for everyone involved.  Stress levels are at an all-time high - between makeup and hair changes, dancer attitudes and tears - We have all said or done something we have regretted at a competition, especially to our dancers.  I have stories for days on this one!  It's OK.  Take a minute, apologize and move on.  

Pro tip:  Figure out your dancers needs and wants.  As a teacher, it was hard for me to keep my commentary to myself.  She argued if I said she did well.  She cried if I said she needed improvement.  I finally realized she was just like me - an "in the zone" kind of girl.  She just wanted quiet.  Every dancer is different, so don't take it personally if and when they don't need you any more.  


Finally, remember why you are there!  The years fly by and before you know it, you'll be watching their last performance.  Have fun!  Winning is amazing, but the memories you create are even better.


Get the spreadsheet HERE


March 06, 2023 — Courtney Little
How to be a 1st Place Dance Mom

How to be a 1st Place Dance Mom

Here's a quick list of things you need to do NOW to win that coveted Dance Mom of the Year award!  Okay, there really isn't an award, but these tips are going to take YEARS off of your learning curve.  How do I know?  Because I learned them all the hard way.

1.  Get the Bag!  PVC racks break...repeatedly.  Metal racks are awesome, but they are no fun in the cold, wind & rain.  Just get the darn competition bag!  

2.  Get an extra pair of tights, BUT you DON'T need to buy them all?  What!!!!  Don't want to be that mom (AKA Me) with no back up tights when your darling child rips her only pair!  So how many you ask???  I'll cover that in tip #5.

3.  Make a spreadsheet to keep track of all of their routines!  OR, just use mine Just "make a copy" of the sheet so that you can edit it with your info.  It's super easy + I used it for years!

4.  Use a garment bag for every costume!  Why?  You'll see my favorite tip in # 5, but start with just labeling them.  Did you know that there's a pocket on the front of most garment bags that is made for an index card???  I didn't's amazing!  Hang them up in order when you get there and you're set!

5.  Using the spreadsheet, put every single item you need for each routine in the garment bag!  It's genius!!!  Tights, shoes, hair piece - all. of. the. things.  Then, if your child rips their tights, it's not a disaster, because there is a pair of tights with every costume! 

If you need help with the spreadsheet, DM me!  

P.S.  Keep our Linktree handy!  


We're really turning THREE!!!

We're really turning THREE!!!

One week from today we turn 3!  If you've been along for the entire ride, you know what a HUGE deal this is!  We opened our doors on 1/11/2020 (yep, 2 months before Covid).  It was a great day with SO much love + support for our new business.  We were growing and had so many ideas + dreams.  Almost 2 months to the day later, we closed our doors for 2 weeks...then 2 months....then 4.  

The wind was out of my sails for sure.  Do I buy?  How do I pay our bills?  Are people ever going back to dance?  Will there be recitals?  Comps?  Pivot, pivot, pivot.  

Then came the yellow phase, which almost shut our doors for good.  WE were allowed to re-open...but our customers were not.  Good times.  Never want to relive that again.  Pivot, pivot, pivot.

By our 1st birthday we were exhausted, terrified, but hopeful.  We knew we were something special.  We were different....but would others see us this way?

Birthday #2 was awesome!  We were still hanging in there, but dealing with price hikes, shipping delays, backorders....oh, the backorders.  Pivot, pivot, pivot.

We literally don't know what a normal year is like.  Planning is so hard when you don't have real numbers.  So, I do a lot of guessing....sometimes I get it right.  Sometimes I don't.  I learned to not beat myself up over it.  Just learn from it and move on.  

Most businesses don't make it past a year....and here we are heading into our third year, still unsure, still pivoting, BUT still loving our little store.  We have built SO many relationships.  Every single day I have someone I'm excited to see come back into my store...we chat, we catch up....

...and every single day I have someone brand new.....we welcome them...teach them...

My favorite thing has remained the same.  When people from different studios bump into each other and are excited to see one another.  Maybe they met at one of our events.  Maybe they met through our Ambassador program.  Maybe they recognize each other from a photo shoot.  Whether we succeed or fail, that is something I will always remember and be proud of. 

Thank YOU all for sharing our journey with us, and loving our Little Dance Boutique as much as we do!  Cheers to year 3! 

It's National Small Business Week!

It's National Small Business Week!

Time to celebrate!  What's not to be happy about?  When we opened our doors on  1/11/2020, it was a joyous time!  The thought of having our local dance parents not having to travel out of state to try on dance shoes was exciting!  Getting to watch the smiling faces walk through our doors---first time dancers, professionals, teachers and my favorite---new dance moms looking for's truly the best! 

Well....then we were closed (sigh).  It truly took the wind out of our sails, but we constantly looked on the bright side and of course, pivot, pivot, pivot.  When we re-opened, we were terrified.  Dancers were still on zoom and I sat many days in my empty store waiting for it to become alive again.  

Now, here we are!  I can hear Elton John's, "I'm still standing" in my head right now!  We still have our bad days, weeks, and months, but we are still here.  Comp season is coming to an end, but recital season within reach.  We still experience shipping challenges and backorders, but we have learned how to manage these issues instead of dread them.  When everything is "normal" it's truly going to be a breeze!  It's going to be normal again right???

So, cheers to us, all of the small business owners that stress out like me everyday, and cheers to all of YOU that help us help you!

Here's how you can support your local small businesses:

  • Buy a gift card
  • Write a great review
  • Like AND follow them on social media
  • Share their businesses on social media
  • Talk about them!  Worth of mouth is the best advertising ever!
  • Become one of their favorite customers!  
Happy National Mom + Pop Business Owners Day!

Happy National Mom + Pop Business Owners Day!

I know it's been a minute since I last had time to blog, but today is a day worth taking that time.  It's National Mom + Pop Business Owners Day!  Why should you care?

  • Our businesses are just awesome!
  • Our economy couldn't run without them!  
  • Small businesses create local jobs!
  • Our businesses are just awesome!!!
  • We are known for SUPERIOR customer service!  It's not just a job to us-these businesses are our babies!  
  • We support the community-whether it's donating to a local sports team or holding a fundraiser in our businesses, we support our community year round!
  • Did I mention that our businesses are just awesome?
  • We build relationships-you're not just a customer ID to us!

Days like today make us stop and think about all of the hard work, long hours + time away from our it all worth it?  For me it is.  I want to build something that my kids and future grandkids will be proud of and hopefully run one day.  So, I work every weekend, almost every hour that I'm awake.  I literally run on Dunkin' (and hopefully soon the new coffee shop coming up the street).  I'm the purchaser, merchandiser, marketing contact, window cleaner, cashier, website developer, AR/AP, janitor, social media marketer + shipper.  I still drive my Dodge Journey +  stress about bills...but, I LOVE my job and I LOVE our LDB family!  I love the feeling of pride I have every single time I walk through the door and the extra few moments that I stand and admire my store in the dark when I close.  Did I mention that small businesses are awesome?  


Here's how you can support your local small businesses:

  • Buy a gift card
  • Write a great review
  • Like AND follow them on social media
  • Share their businesses on social media
  • Talk about them!  Worth of mouth is the best advertising ever!
  • Become one of their favorite customers!  



Happy Competition & Parade Weekend!

Happy Competition & Parade Weekend!

One year ago...

T'was the day before the country shut down.  It was a Friday, just like today.  In the morning, the store was humming with excited dancers heading to competition.  Parents thinking they would get through the weekend unscathed...myself included.  I expected lots of last minute Irish Dancers getting ready for their parades.  I remember having some extra treats and goody bags ready to greet them.  I had my car packed with my daughter's Dream Duffel and would be closing early to head to our first comp of the season.  Keirah, my final Name Game Winner came in, and moments later I did close early....just not to head to comp.  

It's been a long year.  I could go on and on about the longest roller coaster ride I never wanted to be on, but I don't have to.  You all know.  There's nothing new to tell.  

As we approach another competition weekend, I wish every dancer the best dance of their lives.  Some studios have already hit the stage and it's been amazing to see their photos...their unity.  Some studios are hitting the stage for the first time this weekend.  Things may look different, but I hope you find it in yourself to find the good in every moment...even when it doesn't feel the same. 

One of the most surreal moments during this year was when I re-opened and still had Shamrocks all throughout the store.  In honor of our Irish Dancers and that feeling of hope, I'll leave you with one of my favorite Irish Blessings...


May your blessings outnumber
The Shamrocks that grow
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.

May luck be a friend to ye,
And be with ye in all yer days,
And may trouble be to ye,
A stranger, always

May the lilt of Irish laughter lighten every load, may the mist of Irish magic shorten every road, may you taste the sweetest pleasures that fortune ere bestowed, and may all your friends remember all the favors you are owed



Myth # 1 about Little Dance Boutique:  Dancewear stores are always more expensive than online.

The Truth?  Many people assume you'll find better deals online, but the fact is we are comparable if not cheaper than the big A word!  While I can't guarantee that every single product is cheaper, I know that we are constantly checking prices and creating the lowest prices possible.  I hear it time and time again at check out, "Wow!  That's cheaper than A*****!"  

Don't believe me?  See for yourself!

Welcome – Little Dance Boutique

February 09, 2021 — Courtney Little
How to Choose the Right Size when Online Shopping!

How to Choose the Right Size when Online Shopping!

When you're online shopping, we know that choosing the perfect dance shoe, tights and leos for yourself can be a little tricky. To make it easier, here are 3 ways you can ensure you're choosing the right fit & color.

1.  Use specific size guides for each product, NOT just a general sizing guide.  As all of you have surely experienced by now, a size 6 Bloch Jazz shoe is not the same size as a size 6 Capezio Ballet shoe.  I'd bet money, NEITHER of those are the same as a size 6 sneaker!  So, when purchasing a Eurotard Jazz shoe for example, make sure you are using Eurotard's sizing model for that specific jazz shoe.

2.  Read the Reviews!!!  9 times out of 10 there will not only be reviews on how someone loved the product, but there will be comments about sizing!  They are usually truer than the companies own sizing guide.  I swear, it's true!

3.  A picture is worth 1,000 words, but it can be oh so deceptive when it comes to sizing!  How many times have you ordered something online to be disappointed by its actual size when it shows up at your door?  Me too.  How do you combat this?  Read the dimensions!  

Want to skip the hassle and get the BEST fit?  Shop in person!  We are here for you and are adhering to all Covid regulations.  

Does that help? Need a little more help? Don't be shy to send us a message with your specific question and we'll get back to you ASAP.

Shop online here:  Welcome – Little Dance Boutique

Like our FB Page, stay up to date or send us a message here: 

Little Dance Boutique | Facebook



I don't talk about this often, but the reason why I started Little Dance Boutique is what keeps me going through the tough times (*COUGH* shipping delays, postal strikes and copycats *COUGH*).  So gather round the proverbial fire, children. Here's the story of why I started the company I run today.

I've always known that I was meant to be "in charge".  I've also referred to myself as a Jill of all trades and master of none.  I have SO MANY interests that it's hard for me to concentrate on just one thing.  I went from wanting to be a cartoonist to a coroner on my long list of "what do you want to be when you grow up".  

After 10 years of coaching cheerleading, I entered the dance world.  First as an acro instructor and then as a dance mom (the latter is much harder btw).  When my youngest joined the competition team, I didn't think it would be a big deal.  I've dealt with the competition aspect for years and we always had a cute dance store in the area...but it was gone!  

At about the same time that I was growing painfully tired of my 9-5, I was also growing painfully tired of buying the wrong dance gear for my daughter online.  One of my friends said, "someone should open a dancewear store" and I immediately knew that someone was me!  

Had I known Covid would hit after being open for 2 months, I probably wouldn't have done it, but I finally feel like I'm exactly where I am meant to be.  LDB isn't just a store, not just a company or even a brand.  It's a piece of my history and a community of all of the things that I love...Art, Children, Family, Teamwork & Kindness.  God willing it will be a part of the future with my great great grandkids running things in years to come.


February 08, 2021 — Courtney Little
My Takeaways from this Year's Dance Retail Show

My Takeaways from this Year's Dance Retail Show

1.  Zoom is a blessing & a curse

I think I finally got a taste of what it's been like for my daughters to go to school virtually.  The endless pit of black screens with one person talking to you, dogs barking, husbands interrupting, phones ringing.  For one on one meetings, I had to make my top half presentable, while wearing sweatpants.  At least I was half comfy!

2.  I love Eurotard!

I've said it once and I'll say it a million times.  They are THE. MOST. UNDERRATED. BRAND.  From amazing customer service, to being one of the only vendors that doesn't try to become one of your competitors.  They truly care about us little guys.  Not to mention their quality and prices.  Where were all of the top brand companies this weekend anyway?  Very interesting... 

3.  I miss touching products

For the same reason a dancewear store is important, so is a live vendor show.  I want to see in person products I'm going to invest in.  I want to know that my customers are getting what they pay for.  Looking at it on a screen or a video just isn't cutting it.

4.  I didn't impulse buy

Well, I definitely saved some money!  Between the hotel stay and the impulse buying, last year we spent a pretty penny at this show.  This year...I'm saving it for my rent.  #goawaycovid

5.  We are all struggling with the same issues

As much as it saddens me, I'm not alone.  Every retailer voiced the same concerns as I have.  How do we plan?  What if we get shut down again?  Are we going to make it?  I literally don't know what to focus on anymore.  What do we order?  How much do we order?  We don't want to be the store that is always out of everything, but we don't want to be the store that isn't here any longer because we over bought.  


Wow!  They really DO rock!!!

Wow! They really DO rock!!!

Don't just take our word for it!  Here's what some of our boxers have to say:

"Omg I love It!! You did such a great job with it she’s going to absolutely love it!!  Thank you!!"

"Good morning! The girls are so excited about their subscription boxes and xxxx won the gift card!! So we will be seeing you soon! Thanks again for putting together such a great box!"

"Merry day after Christmas!  xxxxx loves the box my mom got her!"  

#littledanceboutique xxxxxxx loves her box. #ldbboxthatrocks