Tanika Dean

Dawn Cauthen-Thornton | January 24th, 2020
Tanika Dean

Tanika Dean

Tanika Dean is as humble as they come and her ultimate goal is to help others as often as she can. She is a visionary who understands the everyday struggles of juggling multiple responsibilities. For years she has managed to operate two child care facilities, serve as co-auxiliary instructor of Golden Delight for NC A&T marching band, serve her local community in various ways, mentor emerging entrepreneurs, and pose a role model for young girls learning dance through her performing arts studio, Twirling Divas.

Twirling Divas allows its students to take a variety of movement classes, including tumbling, liturgical dance, hip hop, flag/ribbon/baton twirling and a host of other skills and activities for one price. Over the years, her dance company has accumulated an enormous number of items left over from the countless shows she has produced since her studio doors opened almost a decade ago. Soon, they’ll be utilized in wonderful ways.

Dean has lived a life of giving; finding it more rewarding to give than to receive. She has worked to help many individuals overcome struggles in a quest to reach their full potential. She believes that meeting a need is more than just giving or doing; it’s about serving others with compassion, dignity, and doing so with reasonable rates so that the majority can participate. These principles are the basis for which each organization Dean owns operates. Affordable, high quality services with compassion at every level. This year, Trendy Dancewear, a new business venture of Dean’s will carry out her business philosophy.

“I make a lot of the students’ costumes and I purchase extra material, extra shoes, tights, leotards, and everything they need. So, I have a whole stockroom full of items,” Dean explains. In years past, she would either donate the items to another studio or sell them at an extremely low price so that parents weren’t forced to spend so much out of pocket.

With the abundance of items and her innovative mind, it makes perfect sense to put them all to good use. Beginning in January, Dean will open the doors to her motion-wear boutique, Trendy Dancewear, serving those who participate in dance, cheer, and gymnastics and would like to purchase costumes at a lower cost.
She will also offer studios the opportunity to order brand new costumes, leotards, tights, dance shoes, and hair accessories at wholesale, with little mark-up, a much different practice than many other retail stores. Sometimes the cost of these items alone have left students unable to participate. Dean doesn’t want that to be the issues for any students in the performing arts.

In the past, Dean has assisted parents when they want to trade costumes with each other since they tend to get minimal use out of them. Now, Trendy Dancewear will host an official ‘Swap Meet’ where parents can trade items of different sizes and styles for what they currently need.

“It’s about giving back and helping the community,” says Dean. “My goal isn’t to make a huge profit off of this. And what money I do make will be invested right back into the students,” she says.

As a parent, herself, she knows how important it is to find quality and affordable goods and services. Her daughter, a third-year college student majoring in history and political science and minoring in leadership, grew up in the dance studio, and her son, who started at the Educational Playtime Too Inc. as in infant, is so familiar with it that he can operate it just about as smoothly as his mother can. Don’t be surprised if you find him taking orders when the store opens or sorting merchandise when it’s delivered.

Trendy Dancewear will also offer onsite custom printing and design and custom embroidery services. Because Dean is such an advocate of entrepreneurship and a mentor to so many, this is another path she’s helping pave for a business owner to offer their clients a service that can be difficult to find. These two services will not only be offered to her customers but will be available to anyone who needs it. YOUnique Designs and Deans Custom Apparel will be available within Trendy Dancewear also.

To prepare for her grand opening, Dean and her team have been feverishly reconstructing the workroom and designing the boutique from floor to ceiling. She has proudly obtained all necessary licensing and is putting the finishing touches on her website and social media site for online ordering.

Her parents have volunteered to run the store during its Saturday-only hours. When asked about her passion for helping others find their happy, the former dancer doesn’t hesitate in explaining who her main influences were.

“As a kid, there was a man who resided on the eastside of Greensboro named Mr. Bright. He ran a program called AYD where he offered dance, step team, baton twirling, dirt bike racing, and all types of things. It kept the kids together and out of trouble. And then my passion for children, I learned over the years, came from my great-grandmother who had an in-home daycare on Benbow Road. She used to keep the children of professors who worked at A&T.” So, Dean has impressively filled the shoes of those who unknowingly mentored her through the years and continues to blaze a trail that others can follow.

The pages would be endless if this story mentioned all that Tanika Dean does for her friends, family, and even strangers who are referred to her. From the weddings to the baby showers that she lends her time, resources, and talent to, God notices. And when you’re blessed by the most high, you take pride in quietly blessing others.

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