Here at babyballet, we all love birthdays. So, we’re really excited to be celebrating an important milestone at babyballet HQ. Our very special ballet dance school and franchise has grown from a seedling of an idea back in the early Nineties, and this year we are 17 years old. Before the celebrations really start, we’re going to take a moment to look back at how it all began, and the highlights of our journey…

But first, we can’t talk about babyballet without saying a huge thank you to Claire. Founder Claire O’Connor is the creative talent that drives babyballet forward. Without Claire’s vision, determination and her very special blend of inspirational motivation, quite simply babyballet would not be here.

Under Claire’s watchful guidance, over the years the dance school has captured the hearts and imaginations of thousands of children, parents and teachers. babyballet became a national franchise in 2007 with classes in beginning to open in other areas of the UK. And 10 years later in 2017, babyballet celebrated international success as licenses in Australia, Singapore and later, New Zealand, launched.

Claire’s young family – the mum of four can’t get a more recent photo now they are all teenagers![/caption]

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

All while we were busy planning our classes and stage shows and stocking the rails with tutus and ballet shoes, we took a moment to introduce our friendly characters, including two very special bears to you.

Many of you have welcomed Twinkle and Teddy into your own families as your children have grown with us. And these bears and their friends are an important part of the babyballet story, too… helping encourage confidence and development; kindness and sharing; and not to mention, they are a lovely way for our children to take babyballet home and share our magical world with the rest of their families.

We’re as passionate about the benefits of dance and all the wonderful opportunities that babyballet classes give to our children as we were in 2005. And having navigated a global pandemic, several lockdowns and witnessed all the changes to our children’s education of recent years through the eyes of our own children, we know that our classes are about far more than movement and dance steps.

As children grow and thrive with us, we see the benefit of developing soft skills such as sharing or self-confidence first-hand. And we know from the stories we hear that parent friendships flourish along with the childhood friendships that are formed here. When our children walk through our doors they share very special time with one another and often life-long friendships begin at babyballet.

No-one understands the importance of family more than Claire, so the ethos of ‘family first’ runs through every seam and stitch at babyballet. Claire has worked tirelessly to make sure that, together, our babyballet family gives something back.

In 2016 we joined forces with Tommy’s the national baby charity and are proud to have raised over £800,000 for the charity over the years. And earlier in 2022, babyballet was a hero partner of Children’s Activities Week, which raises money to improve the lives of autistic and disabled children across the UK.

At babyballet we’re always growing and that means sometimes we do things differently. So, this year, we’re proud to be partnering with Tommy’s once again and bringing a ‘Danceathon’ to class this October; but we’ve invited Peppa Pig into our fundraising family with our very special dance downloads.

What a wonderful 17 years it has been. Can you believe we’re celebrating such a milestone? We really can’t!

Happy Birthday to everyone who is part of our babyballet family. Here’s to many more wonderful celebrations together.

For more information about a babyballet class near you or even opening a franchise yourself, please visit our website to find out more: