Mother and daughter team, Claire and Barbara are immensely passionate about babyballet and have worked tirelessly since 1999 to make it into the award-winning reputable concept it is today – which now has over 100 franchised and licensed schools teaching over 25,000 children every week in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
babyballet® has a year of celebrations planned to celebrate its milestone anniversary and is delighted to have secured the New Zealand appointment.
(Above: Members of the Head Office team who have worked in the business since opening in 2005)
The classes were established by Claire O’Connor in 2005 based on her belief that children’s experiences with ballet should be a fun, relaxed and enjoyable activity.
The immediate demand for the sessions exploded and so Claire knew there was an opportunity to expand further so that more children could benefit. She developed the babyballet business into a franchise model and her company hasn’t looked back.
She explained: “I attended traditional ballet classes from the age of 3 to 14 but by the time I got to my teens I started to lose my confidence. I went through a period of low self-confidence and felt I wasn’t the right shape for ballet.
“But I didn’t want other children to feel that way too, so years later, I began offering babyballet classes in Halifax. The emphasis of the classes was then, as it is now, on building fun and confidence.”
Part of the current focus is to continue to develop the brand overseas. Emma Payne has been appointed as the master licensee, to grow the brand across New Zealand, by recruiting new dance studio owners as licensees.
"I discovered babyballet® nearly 5 years ago now, when I first became a teacher for the pre-school ballet classes. I immediately fell in love with the atmosphere, syllabus and how much fun the dance classes were to teach.
When moving away from Manchester I did not want to give up teaching babyballet®, so I decided to take the leap to set up my own babyballet® Franchise ... And it's been the best decision I've ever made! Its opened me up to a world of new friends and support. I find that it's great to be my own boss, but have the support right there, whenever I need it!"
Miss Steph, babyballet Chester East, Wrexham, Mold and Buckley
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