Let’s hear a big cheer for Danielle Matsell.
Danielle is no stranger to ballet. She was three when she first pulled on a pair of ballet shoes and says from the word go she was hooked. She danced all through her childhood and teenage years, and at 18 did a dance degree at Chichester University.
After leaving university she toured the UK with a historical dance company and also joined The London Cheerleaders, one of the best known and most successful cheerleading groups in the country. They have performed at football, cricket and rugby major tournaments and been on TV many times.
Award-winning babyballet was set up by mum-of-four Claire O’Connor of Yorkshire in 2005. She spotted a gap in the market for non-competitive dance classes that not only accepted the best, and the business has gone from strength to strength, and two years ago went international. The programme is now available in Australia and New Zealand, and Claire and her husband, Chris, and their children are now on a world tour introducing babyballet to other countries.
In the UK there are 78 franchisees with thousands of youngsters attending over 1,000 classes every week.
Danielle first came across babyballet four years ago when she took up teaching and worked for a babyballet group in Clapham. “I loved teaching from the word go and became a freelance teacher. There was something about babyballet that kept drawing me back, and I said to my boyfriend, Reece, that I’d like to run my own babyballet business. He encouraged me to stop talking about it and go for it and I’m so glad I have. I can’t wait to pass on my dance skills to toddlers and youngsters,” says Danielle.
She says her cheerleading experience will help her run her babyballet classes. “Cheerleading is all about spirit raising and entertaining, and babyballet is a bit the same. The ethos of the company is that dance is for everyone. It’s not about your technique or your looks; it’s about having fun and instilling confidence.”
Danielle, who lives with Reece in Wimbledon, is starting with seven classes at three venues: Holy Trinity Church; The Whitton Community Centre and Whitton Baptist Church. Her classes are for boys and girls from six months to six years and she has an introductory offer of £15 for a three week class trial.
She hopes to expand in the near future with more classes and teachers. Anyone who would like more details can contact her on 07950784006 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org