From former ballerinas to young parents, the new Principals at franchise theatre school Razzamataz are all set for their September openings after completing a week long extensive training session.
The new Principals have recently returned from the company’s Head Office in Penrith in the stunning Lake District where they have been learning everything about operating a part-time theatre school.
From utilising PR, marketing and social media to attract students through to the latest health and safety advice and child licensing laws, there is an enormous amount of information to digest initially.
Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz, explains:
"The training week is very intense but really we know that this is just the very start of our new Principals’ journey. Throughout their launch period and in fact the entire time they are Principals, we will be in constant contact through Support Skype calls, webinar training sessions and regional and national meetings. We provide all the support, training and guidance that a new theatre school Principal needs and constantly keep up to date with any changes in regulations to pass that knowledge on to our theatre school franchisees."
The class of 2017 is also excited to be able to go on this journey together and are already helping each other with advice and support.
There are almost 50 part-time Razzamataz schools up and down the UK with Principals coming from a wide range of backgrounds, achieving successful businesses that fit flexibly around their lifestyles.
Being part of a franchise has enabled many people to launch their own successful theatre schools even if they have not got any business background or contacts in the performing arts industry. Razzamataz Principals include teachers, stay at home parents, young graduates and retired performers.
Victoria trained as a professional ballet dancer with Arts Educational School and Central School of Ballet. She danced with the Houston Ballet, the Boston Ballet and the Ballet Nationale de Marseille. Victoria’s career highlights include dancing in the Sleeping Beauty with the London Festival Ballet now ENB with Rudolph Nureyev. She has been teaching adults and children's ballet lessons for the last seven years and has relished seeing the children learn and improve each week. Victoria lives with her daughter Lili aged 14 and her son Archie aged 12 and the new addition to the family Poppy the puppy.
"Razzamataz offers the opportunity to allow me to continue to work on children's development together with inspirational people and resources. Training was hard but very worthwhile. The encouraging thing was all the other new Principals were in the same boat and I have made some lovely friends and I can see us moving forward as a team. The opportunity given to me to become a Principal of a very reputable franchise makes me very excited and hopeful. To promote a successful launch and knowing I've got the 'Razz family’ behind me means everything and I will do my best not to let the side down."
Jessica has gone to theatre schools since the age of 9 and has appeared in TV shows such as The Bill and Holby City as a teenager. As well as continuing to work in the performing arts, Jessica also owns a children’s entertainment company providing princesses and superheros. Jessica is looking forward to creating a Razzamataz family atmosphere in her local area and selected Razzamataz because of our ethos in believing every child deserves the opportunity to learn and gain confidence through the performing arts. Jessica is mum to Paige age 11 and Dawson who is 3. Jessica will be launching Razzamataz Brentwood now feels ready to take on all the challenges that a new business will bring.
"I am a very creative individual and love performing and shows and feel there is no better job than getting to do all of the above for a living. I learnt so much at training that it really has made me feel prepared to open my theatre school. The Head Office team really make sure each and every angle is covered. I’m very excited to be able to do what I love for a career and watch children grow and succeed."
Chris has an experienced background as a singer and dancer. He has performed in a variety show at Her Majesty’s Theatre, worked as a singer and dancer with TED Talent where he got to meet various artists and performers such as Billy Ocean, Gareth Gates, Bay City Rollers, Jimmy Cricket and many more. Whilst his time on the parks he did some character work for Marvel. He has worked for a touring panto company and was the supporting act for Joe Pasquale. Chris is looking forward to helping every child that attends his classes the opportunity to work hard to be the very best they can be. He is excited to watch them grow, develop and enjoy themselves week on week. Chris is dad to a four-year-old.
"I am most excited to learn new skills and be able to provide a service that I believe can help children gain confidence, learn new skills and make new friends."
Emily trained at the prestigious Urdang Academy, graduating in 2013 with a 1st Class BA Honours in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre. Her professional credits include backing singer for the 2013 Final of Britain’s Got Talent, dancer/swing in Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Beauty and the Beast Pantomimes, Singer/Dancer for the Potters Theatre Company and most recently singer in the Laserlite choir for Paris Fashion week. Alongside performing Emily is proud to say she has worked for Hayley Limpkin at Razzamataz Medway since the school opened in 2010. Her role within the school has developed over the years from Teaching Assistant to Assistant Principal and now Emily is delighted and privileged to become joint owner and Principal with Hayley for such an incredible school of amazing staff, parents and students.
"I’m excited for the future of Razzamataz Medway and can’t wait to continue to share my experience and knowledge with the students and ultimately watch them achieve their full potential for which Razzmataz provides the perfect platform."
Many people have have found a rewarding long term career through franchising with Razzamataz Theatre Schools.
Razzamataz Theatre Schools franchise, with almost 50 schools throughout the UK, has many retired performers as Principals.
Nick Furlong and Gemma Hextall bought Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield in June 2015.
Jessica Chandler Smith has seen her Razzamataz franchise in Brentwood achieve huge success in just a few short weeks.
Lauren Kirkbride joined Razzamataz Theatre Schools as a student and now runs her own franchise.
Shanley Booth launched Razzamataz Derby in 2007 and has renewed her franchise agreement for a further five years.
Michael French launched Razzamataz Barnet in April 2012 and has recently renewed his franchise agreement for a further five years.
Debbi Ledwith, Principal of Razzamataz Newbury, launched her school to allow her to spend more time with her three children.
Proving that age is really just a number, Pam Dixon, has run her Razzamataz Theatre Schools franchise since 2008.
Charlotte Young, the Principal of Razzamataz West Cumbria first became a franchisee in October 2006.
The Razzamataz Theatre Schools network continues to grow with the launch of two new London schools as well as a school in the North East.
At Razzamataz's recent training week, three new franchisees who have bought franchise re-sales, joined the franchisees who are launching in new territories.
Razzamataz have a number of franchisees who are either former teachers or combining part-time teaching with being a Razzamataz franchisee.
The support from Head Office is fantastic and they are always there to listen and to guide you through. You are getting advertising/marketing ideas, contacts and systems provided for you that you may not have if you were to open an independent school.Amy Latchman, Razzamataz Rickmansworth.
I specifically wanted to go for a franchise, and in particular Razzamataz because of the support from Head Office and other Principals. This is a network of theatre school owners so you are in business for yourself but not by yourself.Alison Beveridge, Razzamataz Durham.
It was 10 years ago that I left hairdressing and for anyone thinking that it is too late to change their careers I would say step out of your comfort zone and just do it. I never thought I would be able to and it’s the best thing I have done and wished I’d done it years ago!Pam Dixon, Razzamataz Dumfries
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