Looking back at this year with babyballet!

Looking back at this year with babyballet, 2022 has been a special year for so many people within our babyballet franchise family.

Claire O'Connor and Barbara Peters babyballet founders

Claire O’Connor with her mum and co-founder, Barbara Peters (RAD)


Almost a year ago, babyballet grande jete’d into 2022 with co-founder Barbara Peters being awarded with a British Empire Medal and appearing on the Queen’s New Year Honours list! At the age of 83 and with a lifetime of dancing behind her, Mrs Peters has helped inspire thousands of young people in her time. Barbara and her daughter Claire (babyballet’s founder) headed to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May to celebrate with the Royal family and collect her prestigious award!


If you would like to read all about Barbara success throughout her lifetime and her adventures in London, you can do so here.



Now, if that isn’t one way to start the year, then we don’t know what is!

During 2022, babyballet celebrated many franchisee anniversaries from 1 year to 14 years, as well as new territory launches as their own babyballet business blooms beyond imagination.

One of the stand-out moments was celebrating 17 years of babyballet in September! babyballet became a national franchise in 2007 with classes beginning to open in multiple areas of the UK. 10 years later, in 2017, babyballet celebrated international success as licenses in Australia, Singapore and later, New Zealand, launched!

babyballet 17th Business Birthday Anniversary

Throughout the 17 years, as the babyballet family has grown, a very special story has taken shape. At home, away from the babyballet spotlight, founder, Claire’s, family grew and today she is a proud mum of four (we don’t know how she has done it either!) and family has always been at the heart of everything Claire does, and it is that ethos that shines through into her staff at Head Office and network of franchisees.

If you would like to read more about babyballet’s 17 years of success, then you can click here!

babyballet star reading "Twinkle & Teddy in the Rainforest Book - with her babyballet teddy.A huge step for babyballet was the GLOBAL launch of the first-ever storybook, Twinkle and Teddy in the rainforest! After a super successful first release in 2021, World Book Day 2022 was the perfect time to send Twinkle and Teddy’s adventure to children around the world! babyballet classes are already available in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, so it was a very natural move take the babyballet storybook global.

At the time, Claire O’Connor said: 

“This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for babyballet. By releasing this book, more children around the world will have the opportunity of being introduced to our characters and enjoy the benefits of our fun-loving active brand. And with the story taking place in an exciting setting, children can learn about new places and animals while having lots of fun! We can’t wait to see our magical world of babyballet come to life in this book and to see how it will inspire and educate existing and new babyballet stars around the globe!”

You can read all about our incredible global book launch here!


£319.319 can fund Tommy's Nationa Centre for Miscarriage Research for 9 months. Something extremely close to the hearts of the babyballet team is fundraising and supporting charities that benefit families. Throughout 2022, babyballet raised £319,319 for Tommy’s baby charity through their Danceathon collaboration. The Tommy’s Danceathon is a truly magical time where we see the whole of babyballet working together to raise money in such an incredible way which really does make a difference to many people. Also to raise money for Tommy’s, babyballet supported their ‘Dance With Peppa’ Campaign in April, in partnership with Peppa Pig, who has helped raise more than £3 million so far to support Tommy’s work to find causes and treatments which save babies’ lives and helped to provide hundreds and thousands of parents with trusted pregnancy information and baby loss support.

And not forgetting the amazing ‘Dancing In Pyjama’s’ fundraising for Children In Need in November, gosh they have been busy!

babyballet believe their fundraising events set a great example to the children about generosity, kindness, and helping others.


this girl definitely can, dancing little star and adult smiling and supporting her. The incredible babyballet stars have had some really special moments on stage this year too, performing infront of friends and family in their babyballet shows! It fills us with joy to see the amazing babyballet® teachers and their little stars back on the stage, making memories, building friendships, and finding that love and passion that dancers never lose.

COVID affected the dance industry majorly and one of the last resrictions were in theatres, so getting back on stage this year was a really magical moment for all of the babyballet family and the dance industry as a whole! It was definitely a year to celebrate and appreciate getting back to the things we love most.

We hope every babyballet star had an amazing time dancing with Twinkle, Teddy, Flutterstar the Fairy, Chuck the Cowboy and Grandad Jack!

2022 has been a year for award wins at babyballet! If you wish to be inspired by some of the most successful women in the franchising business world, then look no further.

Miss Lucy from babyballet HQ, celebrating picture of her promotion and franchisee winner. The one and only ‘Miss Lucy’ from babyballet Head Office, was promoted to Managing Director at the end of 2021, which turned out to be just the start of an incredibly successful year representing babyballet.

Lucy has been awarded the EWiF ‘Woman Franchise Employee of the Year 2022’ and ‘Overall Woman in Franchising of the Year 2022’! The EWiF awards are all about recognising those who have pushed boundaries, overcoming obstacles and their own limitations to set new standards in the industry. During her 10 years of working with babyballet, Lucy Crabtree has worked her way up from part-time assistant to being recently appointed as the franchise’s new Managing Director, and all by the age of 26. 

As humble as always, Lucy says:

“Although it has my name on the front, I accept that award on behalf of my utterly wonderful, hard-working team who are always by my side to champion the good days and power forwards through the difficult ones.”

You can read more about Lucy Crabtree’s success here!

babyballet has always been built by incredibly strong women, and this year, the babyballet franchisees have blown us all away!

Miss Jessie, winning her Franchisee award - on stage with 2 hosts - super happy and smiling.Miss Jessie and her team at babyballet Dartford, Bexley, Bromley won the title of ‘Most Loved Music, Dance or Performing Arts Franchise’ at the Whats On 4 Kids Awards, and recently was awarded ‘Star Performer’ AND ‘People’s Choice Franchisee of the Year’ at the British Franchise Awards! Miss Jessie has recently has an incredible involvement with a brand new project within babyballet, called babyballet Smile, which will be launching in 2023. Due to her son have SEND, the dedication she has given as a mother as well as a franchisee has gone to new levels, meaning she is the perfect person to have initiated this incredible new journey, which will make babyballet even more inclusive.

babyballet’s very own, Claire O’Connor, was honoured (and very surprised!) to be welcomed into the Children’s Activities Industry HALL OF FAME, and in May, Claire was awarded the Club Hub ‘Leader Of The Year’!

babyballet are also extremely proud to have become Full Accredited Members of the British Franchise Association this year too!

All of the incredible successes of the strong leaders within babyballet is lead by the passion and inspiration that oozes out of Claire O’Connor, and we love to see the magic she sprinkles over so many teachers and franchisees, who then sprinkle it over their babyballet stars.

To end the year, babyballet have been pleased to announce that they are a finalist in the #EF100.
And sitting at number 49 on the Top 100 list amongst such incredible brands, not to mention in the first year that babyballet has been entered is beyond their wildest dreams.
From a small idea in the early 2000s, Claire and her team (past and present) alongside some of the most hard-working, passionate and talented franchisees in the industry have never given up on their mission to bring all-inclusive dance classes to as many preschool children as possible.

The magical world of babyballet sure does bring a whirlwind of surprises, but one thing we are sure of is the joy that babyballet brings to hundreds and thousands of babyballet stars worldwide, as well as the teachers and grown-ups too, in so many special ways!

Here is to another busy, joyous, crazy, and 100% magical year with babyballet.