July 15, 2024
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Santa Barbara’s lone dance shop struts its stuff


Joie Krintzman inside her store, Twist Dance Apparel in Santa Barbara. (file photo)

Joie Krintzman is used to being in a dance store. 

In her youth, she took up competitive dance, an art she kept going through high school. Now, her two daughters have now followed suit, with her eldest starting at the age of 6.

“Her favorite thing to do was to go inside the dance shop. We would walk by there all the time. And then when my younger daughter got older, she also loved going inside the dance shop, it was a great experience for all of us,” Krintzman said.

It was those experiences that ignited a little spark in her — the thought of owning her own dance store in town.

That spark became a reality for Krintzman as she opened Twist Dance Apparel in Oct. of 2021. 

In the nearly year and a half since its opening, Krintzman has described the experience of owning the shop as a “dream come true.”

“Our lives have revolved around dance for almost a decade so just to be able to open this store has been amazing,” she said.

The store offers everything a dancer could need, from leotards to tights to jewelry and accessories. It also offers these things for toddlers and up.

Before Krintzman opened her shop, Santa Barbara had been without a local dance boutique for a few years.

The store Krintzman and her daughters would regularly walk into had closed. This led to people having to shop online for necessary dancing outfits and accessories, a true slog, Krintzman said.

“Dance apparel is really hard to size because everything is a little wonky and it’s hard to order things off Amazon because that leads to a lot of returns and it’s just not a good experience,” she said.

Krintzman joked that an amazon box was regularly seen on the back of her closet, a subtle reminder that she needed to return yet another outfit.

But it was this that further ignited that spark for her to start her own store.

Aside from dance, however, Krintzman only knew the corporate world. She worked at Deckers for a decade before taking the leap into her own venture — a decision she does not regret.

“There were definitely fears. I’ve been working in the corporate world pretty much my whole but also, we opened in 2021 where things from COVID were really starting to open, but it wasn’t necessarily back to normal,” she said.

“But as I really started to think about this, it just was my dream. I thought if I don’t try then I’ll never know and I didn’t want that feeling.”

And it’s a great thing she took that chance as people from around the county, from Ojai to Santa Ynez have come down to the shop.

“We have such a great dance community in Santa Barbara. A dance store is definitely a need in this town,” Krintzman said.

“There’s lots of theater groups. We have flamenco and all kinds of all different genres for dance, so there was a huge need beyond just your typical ballet class and I think that that’s going to be the success of twist, just trying to be there for everyone.”

Krintzman’s daughters are now 14 and 9 with both still having a passion for dance. 

“The thing that we love about dance and why we really stick with it, is it’s really given both of our daughters’ room to grow in a safe environment. It’s just a place where they can be expressive, and they can show their creative side and they just love it,” she said.

She added her eldest daughter regularly spends upwards of 12 hours a week in the dance studio alone, not accounting for the time she also spends in her mother’s store. 

If all goes well, the dance studio could even be hers one day — which would be another dream come true for Krintzman, the hope that Twist will be in Santa Barbara forever.

She isn’t interested in necessarily having Twist dance stores throughout the state, Krintzman just wants to make the Santa Barbara location the best it could be.

“It makes me so happy that I did this, that I followed my dream,” Krinztman said.

“There’s genuine excitement when customers come in and they realize that we’re here for them. It’s like ‘Oh, finally somebody did it’ because we just had this need, this void and I’m just really happy to be able to be here.”

Twist opened in Oct. 2021. (courtesy photo)