Recently Nick spoke to Keiley and Katy from Baby Ballet to find out a little bit more about their business, and to find out why they feel Rayleigh is a great place to live, work and invest.
Hi ladies, Can you give me a little introduction to your business?
babyballet is an award winning dance programme which offers ballet classes to babies, toddlers and children across the UK from 6 months to 6 years old. We run babyballet classes in Rayleigh and our main aim and emphasis is for children to learn to dance in a fun and creative way. We focus on our students gaining confidence while learning the basics of ballet and tap in an engaging and exciting environment. We love to incorporate many props such as scarves, musical instruments, wands, flags, bubbles and much more, to ensure our classes are as stimulating as they can be. Our team of teams are also amazing; they are dedicated, fully trained and extremely fun. We have been running classes for over 5 years now and we love to make our classes magical for all our students.
What made you start your business? i.e what is your story.
I always danced when I was younger and taught dance classes for various other dance schools part time, however, my main job was working as a Primary School Teacher. I had my first son in August 2013 and I decided that I didn’t want to go back to working full time as a Primary school teacher and wanted to be able to be around more at home for my son. Therefore, I bought into the babyballet franchise and started just teaching a couple of classes on a Monday and Saturday morning – the rest of the week I could be with my son. Over the past 5 years the business has grown from the 3 classes a week to over 30 classes a week. I now have two boys and my youngest is not in school yet, so I am still very much at home with him as I teach one morning a week and I have a fab team of teachers who teach my other classes. I am a qualified ballet teacher with the International Dance Teachers Association IDTA and also run an older dance school, The Evans Academy of Dance, for when students finished the programme at babyballet.
Another reason in following my dream to run my own dance school is that I was born with Juvenile Arthritis and now have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and I have always been encouraged to have an active life style as much as I possibly could. I do struggle some days and teaching can sometimes be hard but what a great way to try and be as active as I can be while doing what I love doing. We love to promote having an active lifestyle and feel that it is important for children to grow up being active and enjoying activities.
What are your plans for 2020?
Rayleigh is quite a new area for us to start up babyballet classes in. We currently run classes in Thurrock, Laindon, Southend and Leigh-on-Sea, and Rayleigh has been our newest venture. Our plans for 2020 are to focus building up our classes in the Rayleigh area. We already run on a Tuesday morning and we aim to start another morning at the weekend.
What part has the local community played in your business?
The local community is very important to us as they are the people that come to our classes. Our aim is to ensure that the parents and children who come from the local community, and attend our classes leave happy
In the past we have attended community events within the Rochford and Southend districts, at churches and community centres. We love meeting the local community and delivering free sessions at these events.
lastly, what is it you love about Rayleigh? and why should people considering living, working or investing in the town?
Rayleigh is a great place to live and work in. It is a wonderful town with a fantastic high street which has many known shops but also unique local shops – everything you need. It also has a great little market where I love to have a nose around. As well as the shops, there are great places to eat and drink – a selection for everyone. If you have children there are plenty of activities, indoors and outdoors to do with them, as well as many clubs. The schools are great and being a previous primary school teacher, I would be more than happy to send my children to the schools in Rayleigh.