When Miss Shanelle Cunningham took over babyballet® Wimbledon in February 2020, she had no idea the devastating pandemic that would threaten her new business. But with resilience, determination and a passion for dance, she finally got her little dancers back together in a long-awaited celebratory party.
The highly anticipated event brought 120 of babyballet’s dancers across all age groups, from 6 months to 6 years old together for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. As well as babyballet’s little stars having the chance to finally enjoy dancing with their friends, it was an opportunity for parents to equally enjoy the event and see how positive babyballet is on the wellbeing and development of their children. Around 300 people in total attended the party, which was as emotionally poignant as much as it was special for everyone involved!
Natalie Marks, parent of Hunter, one of babyballet Wimbledon’s super-star dancers said, “It’s so wonderful to be back at babyballet after COVID. We were really excited to have some kind of normality after lockdown as Hunter really missed ballet in person and the interaction of being with other children. All the teachers are so warm and welcoming, so Hunter moves onto each new class without a fuss. Post-lockdown, the equipment has all been thoroughly cleaned and spaced but in a way that never made us feel uncomfortable.
“Hunter is thriving with ballet and tap and looks forward to her classes every week. And so do I! It’s truly a highlight of our week. Hunter’s little dream is to perform on stage, so we’ve really looked forward to this party that marked the beginning of those opportunities becoming available again. Thank you to all the teachers for all your hard work and dedication to the baby ballerinas!”
To the delight of all who attended the event, the babyballet mascot Twinkle Bear made a special guest appearance to show her support have a meet and greet with babyballet’s little stars. With games, dancing, party bags, balloons and cake, there was something for everyone to enjoy! As well as Miss Shanelle, Miss Myfanwy, Miss Breeze, Miss Kimberley and Miss Lily who, after all of their hard work, are delighted to have had the chance to celebrate following such a difficult period for the arts industry.
“After a very up and down 18 months, we just really wanted to put on something special for our babyballet stars. It is so lovely being back at our classes again and we wanted to spread the babyballet magic around the community, being able to celebrate with our babyballet families as well as welcoming lots of new faces and friends. It really feels like babyballet Wimbledon is back even bigger and better! We can’t wait for our next term – we have so many wonderful things planned, including some little surprises along the way. Watch this space!” said Miss Shanelle.
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