A DEDICATED dance shop which draws customers from far and wide has been nominated for its 'on-pointe' service.

Dancia International Reading has a proud reputation with the Reading Retail Awards and is already in contention in the 'Service with a Smile' category, sponsored by Reading Buses.

As well as providing specialist shoes and ballet wear to children, more experienced performers travel from across Thames Valley for the personal touch that cannot be replicated online.

Jude Chapman, who is in charge of three stores in Caversham, Crowthorne and Windsor, said it was 'fantastic' to be recognised in a customer-driven award.

She said: "To get that kind of acknowledgement is just wonderful for me and my team. They put in a huge amount of effort, but they also enjoy what they are doing.

"It is a very niche market and we are the only dedicated dance shop in Reading. We have a strong relationship with the schools and Dancia is one of those names that people associate with quality products and service.

"We opened in the depth of a recession, so that was a concern, but we managed to do consistently well throughout that period.

"It is a business that the community really wants and values. We have customers come to us from Newbury and Swindon because buying ballet shoes is something, in my experience, which you have to do face-to-face rather than off the internet."

Dancia made the final three two years ago for the 'Shooting Star' award and scooped first prize for 'Best Promotional Initiative' after taking their service directly to schools.

Providing a wide range of leotards, catsuits and tutus, Dancia International continues to attract a loyal following for ballroom, Latin and tap performers.

Jude added: "Everything that we do is surrounded by good customer service and we pride ourselves on our relationship with the community.

"The customers enjoy coming to the shop and that is just fantastic."

Nominations for this year's Reading Retail Awards are now open and entry forms are available from The Oracle and Broad Street Mall.