Meet Lauren Bill who has been part of the Razzamataz Theatre Schools network as a franchisee for the last fifteen years. She has just become a multi-territory owner with the launch of Razzamataz Dorchester, which she is running alongside multi-award winning Razzamataz Weymouth. This is her story.
In the beginning
I joined the Razzamataz network in 2011 and opened Razzamataz Weymouth alongside being a dance teacher at a local college. It became apparent to me fairly quickly that I wanted to devote more time to running my business so I gradually transitioned to building up the school so I was financial stable and could leave my job in 2015. Since then, I’ve never looked back. I had my daughter Amelia in 2018 and a few years later I was planning on launching a second school. But when covid hit, I paused these plans to ensure my focus was on the students and staff at Weymouth.
I genuinely don’t think I could have created the amazing communities without the support of Razzamataz, it just wouldn’t be the same going it alone. It feels incredible that we have created something so special and not just for the students and our team, but for the wider community including siblings, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins and friends. They all come and support the students in performances or get involved in fundraising events. We’ve been so proud that this community engagement has been recognised at the Weymouth Business Awards where we won the Outstanding Customer Service category.
Launching Razzamataz Dorchester
The key thing with Razzamataz is that it works around your commitments. Now my daughter is in school, it has opened more time for me, and I can focus on more of the business. I’m also very fortunate to have such a wonderful team, including Rhea who has been with me from day one. I knew she was something special from the moment that we met, and I have always wanted to grow her role. She has taken on the position of Manager at Razzamataz Dorchester, and I’m delighted that I can give her this opportunity.
Growth and business opportunities
Razzamataz offers so much training and support that allows you to run the business that bests complements your lifestyle. That could be running the school combined with another job, full time or as a multi-territory owner. Launching the Dorchester school was also answering the need in the local area from families. We are completely full in Weymouth but didn’t want to turn people away or have a long waiting list. The school in Dorchester is just fifteen minutes’ drive away and it is on a Friday after school, which also suits some families more. My team of trusted teachers have all come to Dorchester, so we can create the same special bonds and magic that we have in Weymouth.
Why a franchise
When I first became a franchisee, being part of the Razzamataz network was everything because they took me step by step through the whole process of setting up. I had no business experience so I was so grateful that they gave me a chance and trusted that I could do it with their support. It is lovely to have a network that sees the potential in you and nurtures you along the way. They also offer so many opportunities that we can pass on to our students such as performing in the West End. In terms of my team, Rhea has been able to take part in the Managers Training that has allowed me to expand and given her additional opportunities. Having the support from Head Office, other Principals and being part of a community that shares best practice has made the experience so much more enjoyable. Head Office genuinely cares and has the best interest of the students, teams and Principals always.
Plans and events
In less than a term, we have already broken even at Dorchester, showing there is a demand for our services and giving us the opportunity to offer students lots of wonderful opportunities. In Weymouth, we will be taking to the West End performing at the Shaftesbury Theatre in December and April, we have our end of term Christmas presentation and our big summer show in June. We have also just returned from an educational and enrichment trip to New York. In Dorchester, although we are a new school, we will be giving the students lots of opportunities. This includes an end of term Watch Week where families can see what the students have been learning, a West End masterclass and a show planned for July to give them their first taste of performing on a stage.
After fifteen years of being a Principal, I can honestly say I still really love it. It all brings me so much joy and allows me to be creative, work with young people and work flexibly so I can be there for my daughter. I can do the school runs and be a successful business owner at the same time.
Improving the lives of children
Being a Razzamataz student gives young people so many transferable skills, but I think the most important thing is that it gives them the chance to find something that they are passionate about and allows them to commit to it and learn more. It doesn’t matter if they don’t go into performing arts as a career, it is the chance to find something they love and develop it, this will be so valuable throughout their lives. For me, it is a real honour being part of my students’ lives; I’ve met many as Minis and now they are Seniors and we are discussing their next steps. It sounds cliché, but we really are one big family and to support them through their highs and lows is a privilege.
Want to join our team?
Razzamataz Theatre Schools offer employment to some circa 600 people either as teachers, assistants, or part of the admin team. There are plenty of opportunities to grow with many people starting out as work experience placements and progressing to assistant Principals or Principal roles.
Make a difference to young lives in your community
Join us NOW for a 2024 launch. Current fee is £12,995 plus VAT or ZERO upfront fee with a flat fee return, ask us about this!
Every now & again we have resale opportunities, please contact us to find out more!
Training takes place regularly at the Razzamataz Head Office in the beautiful Lake District and Flagship school Razzamataz Carlisle.
Week commencing 18th March 2024 for a September 2024 launch.
Contact us to secure your place on our next short informal virtual Discovery Dens either on-line or in person at the Double Tree by Hilton, Kensington, London on Friday December 1st where you can meet Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz Theatre Schools, Asha Richardson, owner of Razzamataz South Lakes and Matty Aitchison-Rayson, owner of Razzamataz West Cumbria.
To book contact 07801843077 or click here to book your place: https://www.razzamataz.co.uk/franchise-opps/book-discovery-den/