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Meet Jennifer Cupani of Newcastle Dance and Theatre Supply in Northwest Suburbs

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Cupani.

Jennifer, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Newcastle Dance Supply was created to utilize my background to help provide young dancers and professionals with what they need to supplement their training and work with high quality and beautiful dancewear, shoes and other accouterments.

It had always been my dream to build something of my own with dance. At the beginning of my career, I thought it would be a dance studio or my own dance company. I also wanted to work in musical theatre as a choreographer/director, with the hope that would become my sole identity. Unable to focus on one area more than the other (I loved them both), I eventually found a dance studio that I felt was a perfect match for me as a teacher. Simultaneously, I continued working in musical theatre, long enough and at enough venues to establish myself as a reliable and recognizable choreographer. At this point, I realized there was no need to create those types of entities for myself, I had found my “dance homes.” I was ready for something else. As a lifelong dancer, teacher and choreographer, I know what dancers need, and as a working professional, I know what a dance teacher or a choreographer wants to see on a dancer.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I think when anyone starts to bring their dream into reality, there are struggles. Any struggles I have encountered have not only been completely worth it, but incredibly educational. I look forward to the next struggle because that means there is growth, momentum and forward motion!

The biggest struggle was thinking that I had to give up something in order to have my life the way I pictured it. Turns out, you don’t have to give up anything you don’t really want to. Work smarter, not harder!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Newcastle Dance and Theatre Supply – what should we know?
What sets Newcastle Dance Supply apart is my background. I have lived and breathed this industry since I was five years old. As a working dance professional at a national award-winning dance studio (Reverie Dance Academy) and a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, I know that I can speak to and problem solve any issue a dancer might be having. As an educator (and also a mom), I can speak to a family about sizing problems, fit, or any other concerns parents might have. I can also speak to other directors, choreographers and costumers about what the best choices are for whatever project is on their plate.

I am proud that I am developing the educational aspect of selling dancewear and shoes to dancers of all ages. I love to tell my clients about what they are buying and the difference in the choices I have in my store. I love to explain to customers why I sell a certain item or line in my store. It is important that parents and dance students know a lot about what they are buying and why it is or isn’t an appropriate choice for them.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My parents deserve credit for Newcastle. Newcastle is the name of the street that I lived on in Chicago when I was learning to dance. While I lived on that street, my parents drove me back and forth to classes in every discipline. For years, they drove me back and forth to countless Nutcracker rehearsals, recitals, shows, performances. I wouldn’t have the background and education I do without them supporting me and dance.

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Image Credit:
Professional Photography by: Amy Aiello

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