Global expansion plans full steam ahead as babyballet signs Master Licensee for Australia

Pre-school dance sensation babyballet, founded in Halifax, Yorkshire, in 2005, has seen a strong start to the year by appointing a Master Licensee for Australia.

It is the first milestone in what promises to be an exciting 2023 for babyballet’s expansion internationally as the company seeks to further build its unique brand of fun and confidence to children around the world.

In March, CEO Claire O’Connor will travel to Dubai to be part of the UK Department of International Trade mission group for a full week of activities including attending The Retail Summit with some of the most recognised global brands.

Claire said: “This is going to be a very exciting year for the babyballet family as we continue to expand the brand internationally. Almost 18 years on from my first ever babyballet class held in the UK, I’m thrilled that the concept will be taken to its full potential across Australia and the next step is to introduce babyballet to the UAE.”

With a syllabus aimed at developing pre-schoolers’ confidence in dance, without the competitiveness of exams, the award winning babyballet has won praise for its inclusive and welcoming classes. There are already 83 babyballet franchises across the UK.

This month (January 2023) the company joined forces with professional dancer and teacher Alex Dunlop as The Master Licensee for Australia. She will oversee the training and support of the existing licensees across the country, as well as the recruitment of dance teachers and studio owners as new babyballet licensees.

She will be working closely with her dad, Brad Saunders, a former Chief Financial Officer for a large corporate and a Chief Operations Officer for a fast-growing Australian company.

Claire said: “I’m so excited to welcome Alex as our Master Licensee for Australia and to bring Brad on board too, with his vast experience of the commercial world. I have no doubt they will be a winning team in recruiting new licensees and sprinkling the babyballet magic far and wide across Australia.

“The babyballet syllabus has already been well received in Australia because it has been created to make learning to dance at such a young age fun and to build children’s confidence in those very important early years. It is focused on developing pre-schoolers’ educational, physical, social and emotional skills.”

Alex has been teaching babyballet classes in Australia since the company launched there in 2017. She also brought the brand to Helensburgh, New South Wales, in 2022 when she became a babyballet licensee herself, and that zone now teaches over 90 pre-schoolers every week.

Alex said: “What makes babyballet different to other pre-school dance classes is the syllabus. It has been so well thought out and is very special. When I teach it in class it is absolutely incredible how focused the children are, they are hanging on to my every word and that’s because the programme has been put together so well. Babyballet is gold for pre-schoolers, it’s just magical how engaged the children are, which also makes it an excellent programme for teachers and studio owners to deliver.”

When Alex began teaching her babyballet classes in Helensburgh she was in profit from day one. Her classes are currently at capacity, and she is putting on additional ones to cater for the demand.

Brad said: “I have many years’ experience working to expand companies in Australia and overseas in financial roles as a business partner and leader. I hope to share my experience with Alex’s passion and flare for dance and her industry.”

Babyballet’s early years dance and ballet syllabus offers four stages of ballet dance classes for children aged from six months to six years, plus a tap-dancing class for children over three years. Globally, babyballet operates over 100 licensed sites with 25,000 children attending each week. Brand growth has also included parties, branded uniform, merchandise, children’s characters and stage shows.

Claire will be at the The Retail Summit at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, on the 14-15 March, where she looks forward to meeting and chatting with global business leaders representing some of the world’s most famous brands.

Claire said: “I’m excited to be going to Dubai to attend such a prestigious event and to spread news of babyballet, our global journey so far and our aspirations for the future.”



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