Treat Yourself: 10+ Holiday Gifts for Dance Teachers and Studio Owners
December 6, 2023

As a teacher, you’re constantly giving your all to your students—nearly 365 days a year. From long days in the studio to even longer days (and weekends) at auditions, recitals, competitions, your needs are often put on hold. 

So this holiday season, why not pamper yourself and your colleagues? We’ve also compiled a list of over a dozen items that make perfect presents for dance teachers and studio owners.

Treat Yourself 

For starters, you could invest in your ongoing professional development with a DanceTeacher+ membership—giving you access to a rich tool kit of teaching resources including technique and artistry tips, expert-led video tutorials, professional health and body advice, dance history profiles, playlists, lesson plans, insightful hosted conversations, and more. You’ll also enjoy additional perks including monthly members-only newsletters, exclusive deals from partner brands, discounts to live events, and your choice of a one-year print subscription to Dance Magazine or the annual College Guide.

Stop planning classes on linoleum or carpet. An O’Mara Sprung Home Practice Floor comes in a variety of sizes for the space you have—and can be a game-changer in your overall joint health. The 4-by-4–foot Maple Tap + Irish Floor runs about $690 without the transportable bag. 

Move over foam rollers. Use the MojiHeat Roller 2 ($79.99) for the next level in self-care. Pop this baby in the microwave for three minutes, then focus on your back, neck, glutes, and more. “Aaah”-inducing, indeed. 

Dance teachers now have a brand-new bag: Capezio’s Parker Backpack ($50) in black is sleek and stylish for after class or on the go. This nylon quilted bag (16-by-11.5-by-5.25 inches) has a front zipper, an inside zippered pocket, and two side pockets for water bottles. 

Update your winter wardrobe! Só Dança’s “This Is Me” collection is made for real adults with mature bodies. “Designed to flatter curvier bodies,” describes Só Dança’s site, “the pieces are not just larger, but cut to work with rounder shapes.” Check out the eyelet detail on the Analu V-cut tank leotard ($75.75)—it’s giving us ballet-biker-chic vibes. Or for something only you could design, create your own leotard with Wear Moi’s Custom by Moi fits. Start with a basic shape (starting at $69), then add your base, trim, and top fabrics and colors. The options are nearly endless and reflect your true holiday wishes this season.  

For Your Fellow Dance Teachers

They may look a little funny at first glance, but toe-separated socks give each piggie a tiny hug and squeeze—like a gentle massage with every wear. Try these knee-high ToeSox ($24), which also lightly compress your lower legs for warmth and extra comfort. Grips on the bottoms keep you from slipping, whether you’re demonstrating in class or taking one yourself. 

Soothe tired feet with Pedestrian Projects’ soaks and balms. The “Pain Relief Duo” ($44) bundles two all-vegan products for foot health: the Purifying Foot Soak (with Himalayan and Epson salts) and the Relief Balm, which includes arnica flower and CBD oil. Achy joints will thank you. 

Everyone loves a new drinking vessel. Help your friends hydrate in style with the ballet-themed Freed of London x Pointebrush 17-ounce stainless steel water bottle ($48). With a leakproof cap, this can be thrown in a bag at the start of the day and refilled as you need. The same artist created a non-ballet version that’s just as cute for any non-bunhead peers.  

Give the gift of inspiration: Purchase a streaming subscription to ODC Connect ($7.99/month or $79.99/year). Presented by ODC, San Francisco’s time-honored hub for dance performance and learning founded in 1971, this on-demand library includes short and full-length films, performances, classes, and interviews with artists. 

For Your Studio Owner/Studio

Let’s start small: Add to the studio library with adorable books from Once Upon a Dance, geared toward your youngest dancers. Created by mother–daughter dance duo Kaelyn and Terrel Lefferts, this pandemic-project-turned-publishing-company offers numerous creative-movement stories and age-appropriate how-to guides. Add Dance Stance ($24.99, hardcover) to your waiting-room shelves, then check out Tammy the Troll: A Dance in the Forest ($24.99, hardcover) for your next creative-movement session. 

Ring in the New Year with a mat refresh! Tumbl Trak’s acro mats come in a record number of shapes and sizes—and they’re on sale for the holidays. The Build-a-Mat system (starting at $79.99) offers the greatest flexibility; order a single mat (1 3/8-inches thick) that’s 2-feet wide by 4- or 5-feet long, or purchase a few to link together with Velcro tabs on both the short and long ends. 

If you find your students performing on non-ideal stages (mall stages, anyone?), consider a portable dance floor from Dance Equipment International. Lightweight—30 pounds at most, for a 6-by-6–foot mat (starting at $455.25)—and available in different colors, the floors can be taped down using vinyl tape as needed. The company’s Woodfoam Dance Floor Mats offer extra cushion, though they are a tad heavier to transport—up to 51 pounds for a 6-by-6 mat ($722). 

Set a New Year’s resolution to upgrade operations by boosting your studio’s CRM, scheduling, and billing capabilities with Compudance Studio Software. In addition to account management and easy online registration, the web-based system also offers recital-planning features that includes project management tools to help with costume rehearsals, run of shows, and day-of performances. Pricing is based on your studio’s number of students, scaled for smaller businesses to larger institutions. 

Celebrate a studio milestone with this off-the-wall idea: a customized Rosco steel gobo [stenciled disk to project your studio’s logo] (price upon request). It’s sure to elevate your spring recital and will make any theater your own.

Of course, a trip to your local dance retailer never disappoints. Stock up on gift cards, try on apparel, get professionally fitted for new shoes. And who knows—the shopkeeper may know what your colleagues or students have been eyeing. Happy shopping!

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sign up for any or all of these newsletters

You have Successfully Subscribed!