Our Story

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“We pride ourselves on customer service and believe that each customer is of utmost importance and should be given the attention they deserve.”

Located at 55 Church Street in historic downtown Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Dance, Etc. opened its doors in 1990 and has since supplied students and professionals alike with name brand apparel, shoes and gifts from the most respected manufacturers in the dance business. Occupying 2900 square feet, we are a full service retail dance shop known far and wide for our expert pointe shoe fittings.

Founder Leslie Roy-Heck, former soloist with the New York City Ballet, considers customer service the paramount attribute of Saratoga Dance and it is the store’s primary goal to provide each and every customer with a memorable shopping experience in a relaxed and beautiful environment.

Our dedicated Saratoga Dance staff has extensive knowledge of dance (they are either current or former dancers and dance teachers themselves) and their high level of expertise contributes greatly to the success of the store. No question goes unanswered and they are committed to staying on top of the current trends in apparel, the latest developments in shoes, and any new or innovative products entering the dancewear market.

On-site shoe fittings are done by experienced fitters and we are especially well known for our professional pointe shoe fittings. We have a far reaching customer base and many travel up to three hours for a scheduled pointe shoe fitting at Saratoga Dance.

Dancers’ feet and needs are constantly changing, and whether it be educating a first time pointe shoe student about the structure of the foot, the anatomy of the shoe or how it relates to the foot while on pointe, or a troubleshooting session with a pre-professional dancer whose shoes are breaking down too quickly, we are always here to explore, educate and service our customers with the greatest care possible. We work closely with local teachers to determine their dancewear and footwear requirements and believe that this relationship is paramount to running a successful business.

With over 20 years of experience in fitting shoes of all types, our vast array of merchandise, the store’s lovely ambiance and our superb customer service, Saratoga Dance’s exceptional reputation reaches far and wide!

LESLIE ROY-HECK

Leslie Roy-Heck began her early dance training at the Gerami School of Dance in Lafayette, Louisiana. At the age of twelve she received a Ford Foundation scholarship to attend the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of the New York City Ballet (NYCB). At SAB, Leslie had the privilege of training under the tutelage of Alexandra Danilova, Felia Doubrovska, Helene Dudin, Irina Kosmovska, Richard Rapp, Elise Reiman, Michel Reneault, Suki Schorer, Murial Stuart, Antonina Tumkovsky and Stanley Williams. At the age of seventeen, Leslie was accepted into the New York City Ballet and spent the next thirteen years there, dancing in over eighty ballets. She had the honor of working with George Balanchine for the first seven years of her career and worked closely with Jerome Robbins and Peter Martins throughout her tenure. Leslie has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia on tour with the NYCB. She retired from the company as a Soloist in 1989.

George Balanchine with sisters Melinda and Leslie Roy
Photograph by Arthur Elgort

Mr. B, Melinda & Leslie
Photograph by Arthur Elgort

Upon her retirement, Leslie moved to Saratoga Springs, NY, at which time she began her teaching career at area schools. Some include Albany Dance Institute, Adirondack Community College, Adirondack Repertory Dance Theatre, Guilderland Ballet, the Ballet Regent School, Saratoga City Ballet and Russell Sage College.

In 1990 Leslie opened Saratoga Dance, Etc originally at 53 Church Street and the small store quickly became a vital part of the local dance community. With help from her friends in NYCB, Leslie hosted many events and fundraisers to provide outreach and education to local dancers and raise awareness of issues affecting the arts. Her vision and dedication have made Saratoga Dance one of the most successful dance shops around.

In 1996, Leslie and her husband Michael, a Chemical Engineer, started Bunheads Dance Accessories which became a leading dance accessories company, servicing over 45 countries around the globe. In September of 2008, Ballet Makers Inc., world-wide distributor of Capezio dance footwear and apparel, acquired Bunheads. It is still going strong and continues to be the top dance accessories company in the world.