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Still Dancing in Canoga Park After 50 Years

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Capezio Dance Shop has been doing business in the San Fernando Valley for 50 years and shows no signs of slowing down. 

Founded by Sandy Friedman – now 85-years young – she continues to operate the business with the help of her son and daughter. 

“I’m so proud of my mom who started this business before it was commonplace for women to start businesses,” Dana Notario says. “And, on top of that, she’s survived economic recessions, the Internet and most recently – COVID. That’s no small feat for a small brick and mortar business.” 

What does Friedman attribute this stick-to-it-ness success to? Personal service and expertise rank high. Caring about the community tops the list too. 

“It’s not just about selling dancewear and accessories to aspiring dancers – it’s about making connections and keeping those connections alive,” she says. 

That philosophy appears to be working as Friedman still has some of the same customers from when she first opened her doors 50 years ago. 

“I’ve had generations of families shopping here,” she says. “For example, young girls that first got fitted for dance shoes five decades ago are now coming in with their grandkids. That’s what it’s all about.” 

Friedman first got the idea to open Capezio Dance Shop when she peeked into her daughter’s ballet locker and saw all the shoes hanging there. That’s when it hit her. The closest dancewear shop was about 30 miles away, so she decided, “I’m going to open a dance shop in the Valley.”

She was a young mother with no business experience, but a good idea. Ever since, she’s been working with the local community to help them get everything from perfectly-fitted dance shoes and dancewear to fun accessories and gifts. 

Friedman enjoys giving back to the community and has served on several non-profit boards in addition to donating dancewear and dance shoes to local schools and various programs. She also started an event about 40 years ago which is well known in the valley today – Capezio Dance Day. It started out with a makeshift stage in a parking lot behind the shop and has now grown into a beloved regional affair held at the Madrid Theater in Canoga Park. All the schools are invited to participate. The next one is scheduled for some time in 2024.

Capezio Dance Shop is located at 7128 Owensmouth Avenue. Call (818) 348-4488. 

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