Hello to all our friends and fellow dance community members.
2020 was a trying time for many, and like many of you, Will and I (Julia) had such high hopes that 2021 would be a better year for us all, but the first week of the new year dealt us a much harsher blow and reality check than we could have imagined. Unfortunately, due to the hardships brought on by the COVID pandemic, we are facing the loss of our lease to both our retail space and apartment, which share a building on South Broad Street in Philadelphia.
As many of you know, up to this point both Will and I have relied on our income as both professional dancers and freelance artists to support ourselves and supplement the store's finances, and we have come to a place where we need to humble ourselves and ask your support to help us save our dancewear store, which we have been pouring our heart and soul into since we took over in 2018!
While we continue to wait on potential COVID relief assistance, we need help from the community to reach our $12,000 goal, which consists of:
• $6,000 to secure the store location (30 day deadline)
• $4000 for inventory and marketing that will allow us to continue to carry the items that we know customers will need in the coming months and to support several marketing efforts that will help us expand our online presence
• $2000 in security deposit to the owner of our commercial space.
Meeting this goal would allow us to get ahead and be truly prepared to carry us through the rest of this pandemic and still come out on top when we approach the end. Your donations will not only go to directly supporting two artists and our female-led, minority owned small business, it will also positively impact the performing arts’ and dance education communities, both locally and at large.
In a time of so much uncertainty, some things are certain: the arts, small businesses, minorities and education communities have all been deeply impacted and devastated during this pandemic. This is an opportunity for YOU to make a difference. We need your help not only to survive, but to thrive. Diversity in art and culture enriches lives, enriches whole communities.
More about us: Dancewear on Broad in Philadelphia
When Will and I took over in 2018, the dancewear store had already been established in this space for 17 years. At the time, I was managing the store, then under different ownership, when I got the announcement that the store would be closing its’ doors. My immediate concern was that dancers in Philadelphia would not have a place to go for their dancewear needs. When my partner and I made the decision to keep the store open, we made it our mission to stay in support of and to serve the arts community. Due to the pandemic, we now own the last store in the area where professional and pre-professional dancers can find what they need for their performance and studio practice. Help us fight to not become another victim of this pandemic and ensure that these dancers have a place to go.
Since 2018, we have grown from serving over 50 local dance schools, institutions, universities, and companies, to nearly 100, not only in this city, but across the country and worldwide! For many of these schools, we are their only dancewear destination, carrying specific uniforms and dance attire. For the last 2.5 years, we have been honored to help thousands of dancers and students find just what they need, and witness as they strengthen, develop and grow physically, artistically and personally.
About Owners William Robinson & Julia Higdon
Julia began her lifetime commitment to dance at age 9. By 13, she had trained at professional and university level institutions and had started a full-time schooling dance education from the Kirov Academy of Ballet with summer studies at various prestigious schools such as American Ballet Theatre and the Rock School for Dance Education.
Since 2005, Julia has danced with dozens of companies up and down the Eastern Seaboard, re-introducing herself to the Philadelphia dance scene in 2011 as a dance major at the University of the Arts. For the last 6 years she has been performing for and collaborating with local dance troupe, Brian Sanders’ Junk. She has also collaborated with several other local dance productions, such as Gunnar Montana Productions, Cardell Dance Theatre and the production of Let ‘em Move You.
In 2018, she expanded her career to include entrepreneurship through the joint-ownership venture of Dancewear on Broad.
Video clip of Julia during a pointe fitting
William is a multidisciplinary artist and teacher, who hails from DC and resides in Philadelphia. Born to
Patricia B. Robinson and Maurice Robinson Jr. in August 1985.
A graduate of The University of the Arts, William has worked professionally as a dancing artist since
2008, and co-owner of Dancewear On Broad with his partner Julia Higdon since 2018.
As an artist and small business owner William seeks to do the extensive, necessary, and joyful work it
takes to recognize the importance of community activism and work towards building equity for all.
William moves to synthesize research done through years of various dance practices, as well as
community engagement through volunteer work in an effort to serve and be available to the dance and
William unpacking pointe shoe inventory
See more from Dancewear on Broad on Instagram & Facebook:
Dancewear on Broad at YAGP
Again at YAGP
Happy student and patron Samara with her new shoes
Fellow artist and teacher Rachel dancing in her new and exclusive Keith Link leo