Becoming involved within the dancewear business was natural for Melanie, she had been designing costumes for her daughter and for productions for years. When she came upon DanceCraft and saw the “help wanted” sign, it was a no-brainer for her to apply. She began working there for the previous owner about 20 years ago, but as time went on the owner was ready for retirement and to shut down the store. However, Melanie’s passion could not let that happen and she had to keep the store alive. So she took over ownership and has been the owner for 6 years now!
DanceCraft is the oldest dance store in the Lower Mainland, serving the area since 1968. The deep roots it has grown within the performing arts community here is what makes the business so special. Melanie’s great involvement within the performing arts community for the past 30+ years has created a sense of belonging within the store, a place not only to shop but to also create connections. Melanie moved DanceCraft to the Newton Town Centre 5 years ago soon after she took ownership to be become more central in Surrey and more accessible to transit and to her clientele.
Melanie has been involved within the performing arts community in the Lower Mainland for over 30 years. She was a dance mom, is an arts columnist for the Surrey Now, a member of the Surrey Arts Council, and involved with many community theatres such as Surrey Little Theatre, Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society, White Rock Players, and a Board member of West Coast Tap Dance Collective. As time rolled on and after decades of involvement within the performing arts, Melanie decided to finally take her chance at dancing, something she had always hoped for. At the age of 50 she began taking dance lessons and continues to today! Melanie takes part in tap, stage, and musical theatre, and participates in many shows around the Lower Mainland!
As a resident of Surrey for over 40 years, Melanie has seen the development and rise of Newton over the decades. She calls Newton, “the bridge between all of Surrey with a great community centre.” She enjoys being in Newton and is glad to have been able to move the business to the Town Centre. Melanie’s goal with her business is not only monetary but also bringing value to the community through the arts. She has felt she has been able to build a community connection here in Newton by building relationships with surrounding businesses and supporting them within her own store. Melanie keeps a community board within her store to promote local dance/theatre along with local businesses to give additional support and create a stronger connection in Newton.
DanceCraft caters to all ages, with 67 different styles of dance shoes for all styles of dance to basic and professional dancewear, theatre makeup, accessories, and costume making and alteration services. DanceCraft is your one stop shop for all your dancing needs. Melanie is also very focused on promoting adult community dance and theatre productions as she had taken it up at such a late age and felt it has changed her life for the better. She feels it is important to encourage adults to take a chance and try out dance, because you’re never too old and it is a great way to keep healthy and active!
Melanie’s hope for the future with her business is to keep dance alive and continue creating a community within her store and outside through performing arts and community involvement. Her hopes for the future of Newton are that it continues to thrive and hopes to have all the positives she sees in the community be highlighted more and would like to see Newton continue on its track of growth and revitalization.