Abracadabra – Lianna Jane Thompson is starting the New Year sprinkling her magic dust in Altrincham, Cheshire.
The 26-year-old dancer – who once toured the Far East as a magician’s assistant – hopes to have youngsters spellbound at her new dance school which opens on January 7th 2019.
Lianna, who lives in Sale with her partner, Ryan, is opening a branch of the UK’s leading pre-school dance academy, babyballet, where enjoyment, education and magic go hand-in-hand.
It will be her first business, but she brings a wealth of dance experience to her new role and says she can’t wait to pass on her knowledge to a new generation of dancers.
Lianna started ballet as a two-year-old, and at 13 was a dancer with the Royal Ballet School. She then trained for three years with Phil Winston’s Theatreworks, Blackpool, before joining a cruise line and travelling the world. Her spell with a magician came next followed by a tour with a UK based dance company. She has also done choreography work and several small TV roles.
In between her travels she taught at various dance schools and has almost finished her training to be a dance examiner with the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA). She started work for babyballet two years ago and says she instantly fell in love with the brand.
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 it has 75 franchisees with thousands of youngsters attending over 1,000 classes every week.
“It really is an amazing company because every single child that attends a class is treated the same, and I have seen first-hand how much each boy or girl gets from it. I’m excited about doing something for me and being the face of the brand, but I’m more excited for youngsters and parents in Altrincham. I know they are going to love it,” says Lianna who enjoys the gym, yoga and watching Manchester United in her spare time.
Her babyballet classes are being held at The Bowdon Rooms, and Oldfield Brow Primary School, both in Altrincham, and are for boys and girls from six months to six years. She has an introductory offer of £15 for a three-week class trial and says she hopes to expand classes shortly.