Tippi Toe into the 'Shark Tank'

Just before Tara Cassmann's Tippi Toes Dance Co.starts new classes at the Rochester YMCA, the company's leaders will dip their toes into ABC's "Shark Tank."

Cassmann, whose Rochester-based Tippi Toes business is only the second franchise of the children's dance and music company, will start offering classes on April 1 at the YMCA.

"The mission of Tippi Toes is to develop a love of dancing in children," explains Cassmann. "We don't have a studio. Our whole concept is that we travel. We go to where the kids are…to schools, churches, child care centers, wherever."

Classes to introduce boys and girls to ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop dance to original music created by Tippi Toes.

She is offering about 10 classes locally, and there are three types. Mommy & Me classes are for parents and children ranging from 18 months to 3 years. Ballet, Tap & Jazz classes are offered for children from ages 3 to 7. Hip Hop/Jazz classes focus on kids from ages 6 to 12.


Cassmann first launched Tippi Toes in Rochester in September. However, the classes starting April 1 are the first she has offered at the YMCA.

"This adds another place for us to reach kids where they are," she says.

Cassmann and her four instructors are excited to watch the small Texas company be featured in the season opening episode of ABC's business investment reality show called "Shark Tank."

The show features a team of "Sharks" who listen to entrepreneurs fishing for investment dollars. New this season are comedian Jeff Foxworthyand outspoken corporate investor/professional basketball team owner Mark Cuban.

While she wasn't part of the show, Cassmann has talked to the Tippi Toes founders about the Shark Tank pitch.

It focused on looking for money to finance a children's TV show based on Tippi Toes' ideals.

The show will air at 8 p.m. Sunday on ABC.

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