Even before Sally Masterson could properly walk and talk, she was dancing. At the tender age of two, she was part of the first ever babyballet class, an exciting concept bringing ballet and dance to pre-schoolers. Sixteen years later, babyballet has grown to become an international success, and serves Sally in an entirely different way – with her career as a dance teacher. The inspirational youngster is able to sprinkle her magic on the next generation of dancers and continue burning with the fire inside her that has grown exponentially since she was young.
“I loved my babyballet sessions when I was younger,” said Sally. “So much so, that after continuing to dance at a theatre dance school in Halifax. I eagerly began my dance teaching qualifications at the age of 16. I then discovered there was a babyballet school based nearby and enquired about becoming a teacher. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!”
“Having initially successfully auditioned for a job at Disneyland Paris, and worked as a volunteer in Madagascar, I then took a role as a choreographer and dancer in the south of France. Even when the pandemic forced both France and the UK into lockdown, I was still able to teach classes and perform during that time.
“I arrived back in the UK and headed up to Newcastle to begin my studies in September 2020. Whilst the country was still in lockdown, I wanted to find a local studio that I could get involved with – I had a conversation with Miss Claire, the founder of babyballet, to find out if there was one operating nearby. She recommended I speak with Miss Kate at babyballet North Tyneside to discuss becoming a teacher. I still have three years of university to go and it’s my dance teaching that I really love – as the classes are during the day, I can fit them in between studying and still have my evenings free.”
All babyballet teachers are equipped with the relevant information to help children between the ages of six months to six years old to learn ballet, dance and movement. They undergo specific babyballet training and by pairing this with their professional dance and teaching experience, they strive to create a fun, friendly and inclusive experience for everyone – no matter the child’s age or ability.
The babyballet programme is designed to fit well within the UK Government’s Early Years Foundation Stage framework, with classes providing the opportunities for babies and children to learn and develop key life skills in a healthy and safe environment. Their pre-written syllabus ensures that teachers don’t have to worry about planning or creating choreography and can focus on doing what they do best – teaching dance.
It was clear from the very beginning that Sally was a breath of fresh air and a great fit for the classes. With her sheer enthusiasm, passion for dance and experience as a former student with babyballet, Miss Kate was thrilled to welcome her to the team.
“I think Sally’s smile speaks for itself,” said Kate. “Her energy is infectious, and the babyballet stars love being taught by her. Not only does she know how babyballet operates, but she also fully understands the real benefits that dance offers in terms of confidence, mental wellbeing and physical health. She is a great all-rounder and a valuable addition to the team – I don’t know what we would do without her.”
Now that Sally is fully settled into the North Tyneside school, she is immersed in the babyballet way, but she can’t help but plan for the future. Putting her degree to good use, she is determined to take babyballet to France and begin the journey of the brand there, under the tutelage of Claire. This talented young lady is in the perfect position for building a booming business of her own one day in the near future.
“We’ve already had the conversations of what could potentially happen when I graduate from university. I’m determined to help develop the brand in France and put everything I’ve learnt into practice, alongside what I learn in my degree too. There’s still a long way to go, but I’m excited for what is in store.”
When it comes to pinpointing her favourite aspect of being a babyballet teacher, the answer is not so straightforward: “I don’t think there’s one thing that I love more than the other. I think having the ability to keep doing what I love and feeling supported to do so is amazing. People talk about the ‘babyballet magic’ and it’s definitely a real thing. There’s an atmosphere of feeling safe and supported – I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
From student superstar to a teacher with sparkle, it’s clear that Sally is going to continue moving on up! If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming a teacher for babyballet, please click here!