2018 Holiday Gift Ideas for Dancers! *Exclusive Discounts just for the Turn It Up family*


Tis the season to show our family and friends how much we love them by spoiling them rotten with amazing gifts. Growing up I always took pride in my ability to give thoughtful gifts that would be perfect for the giftee. I created a list of 10 different kinds of dancers and what they might love to receive this giving season. 

  1. For the eco friendly dancer [que Bottle $24.95, www.quebottle.com] Dancers, like any athlete, are always in need of water. The worst feeling is forgetting your water bottle and realizing once you’re dying of thirst. Usually you can run to the front desk and grab a bottle of water for some change. But, what about all the plastic in our oceans! Que, que bottle a reusable collapsible water bottle. They collapse to fit in your purse or dance bag with ease!
  2. For the newly driving dancer [& 5, 6, 7, 8 keychain, $13.50, www.etsy.com shop: AListGreekDesigns] Sweet 16! Driving should be safe and boring but your keyring doesn’t have to be! This adorable “& 5, 6, 7, 8” keychain is the perfect flair for any dancer’s keys and it can help you count space between you and the car in front of you (you’re welcome Mom!).
  3. For the dancer who packs everything [Pilante’ Dance Bag $170.00 www.levelupdancesupplies.com] *EXCLUSIVE TURN IT UP OFFER!* Get $5 off when you use the code “UP5” & get $10 off any purchase of $100 or more with the code “UP10”!!! This bag is the first of its kind and will help you stay more organized than ever! The Pilante’ bag can fit 10-15 costumes, has a USB charging port, and a cooler pocket. Holds dance costumes, keeps your phone at 100, and keeps your snacks fresh…what more could you ask for?! Pilante’ is french for collapsible, this innovative bag can collapse for ultimate organization at home! Available in 4 colors and 2 sizes.
  4. For the dancer who loves their socks [Performance Socks, $10.00 Sugar & Bruno www.sugarandbruno.com] Performance socks have become a huge trend this year. Many dancers prefer socks to dance shoes when in class or on stage. The popularity of dancing in socks resulted in the creation of various performance socks made to fit dancers needs!
  5. For the always-cleaning-up-after-you dance Mom [The Bobi Necklace $40, www.etsy.com shop: ShyLoud] Dance Moms are the real MVP! They always know where everything is and manage your crazy rehearsal schedules. Dance Moms find bobby pins everywhere and now they have somewhere to put them for when you need one! This sleek necklace is not only cute and fashionable but also super handy.
  6. For the dancer who’s always cold [Turn It Up Splatter Sweats $35.99, at any Turn It Up event!] Turn It Up is based out of Massachusetts and we are ALWAYS cold this time of year. Thank goodness for our amazing 2019 splatter sweats. They are so cozy and super warm. We nearly sold out of them this convention season!
  7. For the sentimental or graduating dancer [T-shirt Quilt $74.99, www.projectrepat.com] Dancers collect t-shirts from conventions, competitions, recitals, nationals, and more. Eventually you have drawers overflowing with them. Instead of putting them in a box for safe-keeping or getting rid of them, turn them into something they’ll use forever!
  8. For the dancer who loves surprises [Bunhead Box $46.95 www.bunheadbox.com] There is literally a subscription box for everything these days! Even one for dancers, the Bunhead Box. Choose a 1, 3, or 6 month subscription for your dancer. Every box is a surprise filled with 5 unique items perfect for dancers.
  9. For the nose-in-a-book dancer [Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina $17.99 www.barnesandnoble.com] Growing up I only liked to read about what I loved, and that was dance! There are so many books out now written by dancers for dancers. My favorite is Misty Copeland’s book Life In Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina. She actually has 2 versions of this book; one for adults and one for young readers. There is also a journal to pair with the book to help “discover the fire in you”.
  10. For the beauty guru dancer [PETER THOMAS ROTH Mask Frenzy Gift Set $75.00 www.ulta.comBlood, sweat, tears, and so much stage makeup; dancer’s skin see it all! A face mask set is the perfect gift for your dancer to treat their skin to some much needed TLC during their holiday break.


Happy Holidays!


Your Turn It Up Dance Challenge Family


Studio Spotlight: Nationals Prep with Coastal Pointe Dance Company


Coastal Pointe Dance Company dancers on the Turn It Up stage @ Toms River Regional 2018

I guess what they say is true; time flies when you’re having fun! We can’t believe this Sunday starts our first of 3 National Competitions this Summer. Our truck is packed, on it’s way to Long Branch, New Jersey, and shortly we will be on our way too. It is amazing to think about all that goes into preparing for a National Competition. We know everything that we at Turn It Up Dance Challenge have to do, but we were curious about how our studios prepare too. Valerie Herman, Owner of Coastal Pointe Dance Company and long time Turn It Up attendee, compares getting ready for competition to “prepping for the biggest holiday celebration or trip that you could ever imagine”.

We love our jobs at Turn It Up Dance Challenge because we get to see so many incredible performances on the Turn It Up stage, but what goes into preparation for that moment?

“There are months spent on choreography, cleaning dances, setting and customizing costumes with accents and rhinestones. We prepare our kids with checklist for hair and makeup. Our staff is always looking for new ways to clean and perfect our dances from videoing our dances, watching them with the kids and stopping to point out corrections, to taking notes and having everyone write down their corrections in their dance journals.”

Valerie fixing her dancer’s hair during dress rehearsal.

Valerie and her CPDC dancers have been coming to Long Branch Nationals for 3 years now. They have their pre-Nationals traditions down and we wish we could join in on them!

“One of our other special traditions that our team talks about and looks forward to all year is our Nationals prep week before attending Turn It Up Nationals in Long Branch. All week we prep and rehearse our dances, then the day before Nationals begins we have a team breakfast and full company rehearsal. During the first run through of all the dances everyone on the team gets do everyone else’s dance. It’s an amazing experience to watch because not only did they all miraculously learn each others dances but you can see they have a greater appreciation and understanding of one another when they see that all the dances are challenging in different ways.”  Breakfast and dancing? What could be better than that?!

“Coastal Pointe Dance Company’s Competition team and staff LOVE Turn it up and we cannot wait to embark on another great Nationals with them!”

Thank you, Valerie for sharing your detailed prep work and fun traditions with us. We love getting a peek into what all of our Turn It Up studios are up to before we see everyone at our Turn It Up Dance Challenge events. We may only get to see you for a few days out of the year but the impression you leave stays with us year round. We could not ask for a better family and we have quite a big one. Did you know that this 2018 Regional season we met 12,462 dancers from 421 different studios?! To say we are grateful is an understatement!

Valerie with some of her CPDC dancers at our Bonfire Dance Party in Long Branch @ Nationals 2017
Cosatal Pointe Dance Company dancers with Master Teacher Ashley Rich at Nationals.
CPDC dancers being silly with our Red Carpet props at Long Branch Nationals


Do you, your teammates, or your studio have fun pre-competition traditions? Have some fun facts or stories about your studio? We’d love to hear about them! Email joelle@turnitupdance.com for a chance to get your studio featured on our Turn It Up Dance Challenge Blog.

Vote for your favorite routine: IDA People’s Choice!

Here are our top 12 People's Choice Nominees. Vote now for your favorite routine! The 5 routines with the most votes will move on to the next round of voting on the Industry Dance Awards website!

Dancer’s Dialogue: Super Bowl Sunday

This weekend is what many would consider an American holiday. Super Bowl LII is here, an event that has something for everyone. For most it is about the fierce competition between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. Others love it because of all the delicious, classic tailgate food. Then there is my group of Super Bowl viewers, those there for the real MVP’s, the performers. Not only are the players feeling the pressure to deliver this Sunday, but so are the cheerleaders and the halftime performers. Just like the NFL players, NFL cheerleaders dream of being on the big stage that is the field at the Super Bowl. On average, 111 million people are tuned into the Super Bowl each February. During the highly anticipated 15 minute half time performance over 118.5 million people are glued to their televisions! I had the opportunity to talk to two incredibly talented dancers about their grid iron experiences. Lindsey, an NFL cheerleader who loves the thrill of game day. And Ryan, who had the opportunity to perform in the infamous halftime show performance with Katy Perry! Check out what they had to say and their advice for younger dancers below.


Lindsey W.

What age did you start dancing?: 3

What is your favorite style of dance?: Contemporary and Musical Theater

What is your favorite thing about being an NFL cheerleader?: I absolutely love game day, there is no bigger thrill, but the true gratification of being an NFL cheerleader is giving back to the community through charity events and community appearances. I didn’t realize before making the team how big of an impact the appearances would have on me, but it is so rewarding to use my role in a selfless way to help around the community and to bring positivity into peoples lives.

What is the biggest difference between dance and professional cheering?: As an NFL cheerleader there is still the audience, the bonds you make with your team (cast), and all the hard work you put into your craft, but I would say the biggest difference is that it really is a bigger platform for your talent, not just dance wise, but as a strong female in the community and an ambassador for a huge brand.

Do you have advice for dancers aspiring to cheer for an NFL team?: When it comes to the audition process, never give up, dance hard, SMILE, and really put the best version of yourself out there. Beyond dancing there usually is an interview, physical fitness test, football test, and a mock photo shoot at these auditions, so remember that it is so much more than a dance call. The coach is looking for the best woman to be an ambassador for their team, which requires much more than great dance technique and stellar performance quality. You really need to be your best, speak well, and push hard to stand out in the sea of talented beauties fighting for a spot on the team. If you hear “no”, try again next season. Sometimes it is all about timing!

Anything else you’d like to add?: I’ve had the privilege of having a professional dance career for a decade before my career as a cheerleader began and I must say that no other venue has been as exciting and rewarding in so many ways. Don’t get me wrong, we work extremely hard, but if you are a dancer who happens to enjoy football, it truly is an experience of a lifetime.


Ryan Ramirez

Ryan Ramirez, in purple, performing with Katy Perry at the Superbowl halftime show. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

What age did you start dancing? 4

What is your favorite style of dance? It alternates between hip hop and contemporary depending on my mood 🙂

What was it like performing at the super bowl half time show?!:Performing at the Super Bowl half time show was honestly a dream come true and definitely an experience that I will never forget. I have performed in front of many crowds in my career, but nothing will ever compare to the crowd during the Super Bowl. The main thing I recollect is the in numerous amount of energy in that stadium. My whole body felt as if it was being pumped with electricity and I remember standing in awe on the sidelines during the last song (that I was not performing in) and just crying with goosebumps all over my skin. In that moment I felt so grateful and so alive. I’ve had many goals and aspirations for myself in my career, but performing at the Super Bowl was never one I truly considered attainable. It also was extremely inspiring to see all of the different departments come together to try and make the most spectacular 15-minute show possible. I don’t think people realize sometimes how many hours of hard work go into making something like that! I learned a lot being able to observe people who are truly masters at their craft from the choreographers (Nick Florez and RJ Durell), to the costume designer (Marina Toybina), to Katy Perry herself. In the end everyone came together with one specific goal, to make the Super Bowl XLIX half time show one to remember!

Do you have advice for aspiring professional dancers?: If I were to give any advice to aspiring professional dancers it would be to stay passionate. The industry tries to knock you down more than it picks you up and without passion this can lead to hesitation and doubt. If you truly love to dance and know in your heart that you are supposed to be sharing your gift with others, no one can convince you otherwise. This is something that you have to consciously choose to find and believe, because in the end, we are all human with our own insecurities and want to feel accepted and appreciated. Staying creative whether it’s painting, going to museums, choreographing or freestyling with friends are all things that have helped me fuel my passion and keep it going at times when it gets difficult. I think that it also is important to have a healthy balance between focusing on your career and focusing on your personal life. You have to train hard and focus on your goals if you want to reach your dreams but you also need to step outside of the dance world to get re-energized, re inspired and have some fun outside of work every now and then.

Anything else you’d like to add?: You have nothing to prove but everything to share.


Weather they’re cheerleaders on the sideline pumping up the crowd, performers in the half time show highlighting the spectacular musical artist, or dancing in a commercial for the latest product, dancers light up Super Bowl Sunday. Something that anyone can appreciate is how watching dance makes them feel something. I think it’s safe to say that without dancers the Super Bowl, and football in general, wouldn’t be the same.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday everyone! Let us know your favorite part of the halftime show!


Special thank you to Lindsey and Ryan for taking the time to be part of our Turn It Up Dance Challenge Blog!







Meet us at ENERGIZE 2017: Tools for Studio Success!

Turn It Up Dance Challenge is looking forward to attending and exhibiting at Energize 2017 the weekend of August 25th-27th in Chicago!! This is a full weekend event hosted by Revolution Dancewear, Tenth House Dance & DanceStudioOwner.com designed to invigorate and inspire dance studio owners and teachers for the upcoming dance season! Just a few of the exciting events you will get to experience include movement classes, costume inspiration, business seminars, professional headshots for you and your staff, exclusive discounts & more! PLUS, we will be there!! Make sure to stop by our vendor table, we would LOVE to see you! You don’t want to miss this! Check out the following website for more details. http://energize.pagedemo.co/


Fall 2017 Conventions – REGISTER NOW!

With only a little bit of summer left, it’s a perfect time to begin preparing for FALL CONVENTIONS! This year, we will be touring in 8 different cities during November and December. You be able to take class from some of the most amazing master teachers in the dance world and also get a first look at our new merchandise line. But wait! Don’t forget about our amazing Turn It Up A Notch opportunity! During Turn It Up A Notch, you will be able to perform your solo, duo, or trio for a panel of master teachers who will give you live feedback as well as recorded verbal critiques. This gives you a chance to take your routine to the next level before you compete with it during competition season! It is truly an incredible opportunity that you do not want to miss out on. We cannot wait for conventions to start up in a few months. Enjoy the rest of your summer and we will see you again soon!

That’s a WRAP!

That’s all folks! Thank you for an unbelievable competition season! The 2017 competition season was out of this world amazing. We toured in 26 different cities for regional competition and closed out the season with 3 national competitions. Just one week ago from today we were wrapping up in Ocean City, MD! Time truly does fly, but this season has completely blown us out of the water. Thank you to all of the dancers, staff, parents, directors, and choreographers for giving us your all. Even though this season has come to a close.. the 2018 competition season will be here before you know it! But in the mean time… our 2017 convention season is about to begin!! See you in the fall 🙂

Summertime Swinging – Nationals 2017

Nationals season has arrived! We are in full swing right now with Long Branch wrapped up, Cape Cod in session, and Ocean City about to begin! You all have been amazing so far and we are so excited to keep it going! The routines have been incredible, the energy has been incredible – everything you guys could bring you have BROUGHT. The dancers on our National Dance Team having been working so hard and are absolutely crushing their practices! Long Branch Dance Battle and Dance Team was so energetic and full of fun. Here are some photos from Long Branch Nationals to remember the week! Cape Cod and Ocean City – LETS BRING IT!

Congratulations IDA Nominees!

We just wanted to give a HUGE congratulations to all of our 2017 IDA nominees! You guys voted for your favorite People’s Choice nominee and these are your winners! Currently, voting is taking place on the Industry Dance Awards website for one final People’s Choice winner. Voting closes one week from today (July 3rd!) The winner of that vote will be representing Turn It Up Dance Challenge in Hollywood, CA as our final People’s Choice nominee! One more round of voting will take place after July 3rd to help select the top People’s Choice Nominee out of all the competitions that are a part of the IDA!

We also wanted to congratulate all of our Outstanding Performance Nominees! These routines will be representing Turn It Up in Hollywood, CA at the Industry Dance Awards! Congratulations on all of your hard work this season! Don’t forget – you can also VOTE for these routines as well starting on July 4th! This vote will count towards selecting one final winner from all of the other competitions that are a part of the IDA.

We cannot wait to see you all in Hollywood!

Nationals Reveal – Convention Teachers!

With only 19 days left until we kick off our first Nationals of 2017 – we wanted to let you guys in on some of the fun! As you probably know, on the last day of our Nationals we hold a bunch of master classes taught by some of the best professional dancers out there. During the convention, our Master Teachers will be selecting outstanding participants to receive Convention Scholarships good towards one future convention!  We are excited to reveal to you who will be teaching your classes this summer. Without further Adieu, here are your Master Teachers!

Master Teachers will vary depending on location. We look forward to seeing you there!