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Business: Romford dancer taps into market to teach young children ballet

18:00 04 April 2014

Laura Watkins with her Babyballet class at the Myplace in Harold Hill

Laura Watkins with her Babyballet class at the Myplace in Harold Hill

Archant

Children as young as six months who want to pirouette their way into Swan Lake when they are older can learn the basics, thanks to Babyballet.

Laura Watkins, 25, who runs the Romford children’s dance school, has just celebrated her enterprise’s second birthday.

Operating at church halls and community centres, her classes teach children from six months to six years old, with the emphasis on having fun.

Laura, from Coleridge Road, said: “It’s fun. We get them playing about, painting and flexing their feet. They practise jumping with their mum or dad lifting them up and sing action songs like Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.”

In the two years since Laura opened her franchise of Babyballet in Romford she has expanded into Brentwood, Chelmsford and Billericay.

At the Romford branch alone she has 200 children a week dancing with her.

“Normally we get girls,” she said, “But we have a few boys too. We all love them as they’re so cute. Our most popular class is the two to three-year-olds.

“At that age they start enjoying dancing, so mums bring them along.”

Laura started dancing at school when she was seven and studied performing arts at Havering College.

Kerry Nelson, 32, of Osborne Road, Brentwood, first took daughter Brooke, two, to Laura’s classes nine months ago.

Kerry said: “All the kids have fun. They dance and they laugh.

“When they all arrive she goes off and talks to her little friends. All the mums are nice too, we sit and chat and have fun ourselves joining in with the actions.”

Laura said she had wanted to set up her own business for a long time, but admitted she found it “extremely hard”.

“Running a franchise appealed to me as I get a lot of support from head office. I can call up and say what do I do? It’s all fun and I love to teach the little ones.”

For more information contact Laura on 01708 702691.

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