Joy for Jocasta as determined dance teacher takes one step closer to a UK award

A popular South East dance teacher is twirling towards the final of a national competition for her ‘outstanding’ leadership.

Jocasta Robinson, who has been teaching at babyballet for eight years and covers its Dartford, Bexley and Bromley areas, has been shortlisted in the ‘What’s On 4 Little Ones 2018 Awards’ in the ‘Most Outstanding Activity Leader for the U5s’ South East category.

Jocasta, who lives in Dartford, has been dancing for 27 years and trained professionally at Laine Theatre Arts, Epsom. She joined babyballet in 2010 where she teaches 12 sessions each week at its range of premises across the South East to more than 150 youngsters aged from six months to six-years-old. The babyballet school has over 1000 pre-schoolers who attend 81 classes in the Dartford, Bexley and Bromley areas each week.

“I was so shocked when I found out I had been shortlisted. I feel incredibly overwhelmed to be in the final for such a prestigious competition. Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for me, I can’t wait for the final,” said Jocasta, aged 30.

Jocasta’s manager and older sister, Jessie Lilley, added: “We are so proud of Jocasta. She’s dedicated the past eight years to making each and every babyballet star feel so special. It’s been incredible to see her help the children develop their confidence and dance skills and also to see her grow as a teacher.”

Headquartered in Yorkshire but with over 100 franchises in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, babyballet has been nominated for five industry awards in the ‘What’s On 4 Kids’ 2018 final.

Dance teacher at babyballet Dartford Bexley and Bromley nominated in the Whats On 4 Kids Awards 2018As well as Jocasta’s category, babyballet is in-line to win the Best Product Supporting Children’s Activities, Most Outstanding Activity Leader for U5s in London, Best Franchised/Licensed Baby and Toddler Activity (more than 50 franchises) and Industry Champion of the Year.

The awards, in its 12th year, is the UK’s leading and longest established awards for the sector and saw a massive 70,000 customer votes cast in total with the Industry Champion of the Year gong voted for exclusively by high-profile industry judges.

Founder of babyballet, Claire O’Connor, added: “I am so happy for babyballet to be recognised in so many categories. It’s even better to see individuals like Jocasta highlighted for their brilliant work across our franchises and these nominations are a testament to their commitment to the children they teach and a passion for what they do”.


The babyballet brand is no stranger to being recognised, having won numerous awards including Loved by Children Awards (2018), Loved by Parents Awards (2017) and Women in Business’ Retail Business (2015). Owner Claire also featured in the Channel 4 documentary ‘Big Ballet’, which explored issues of size in the world of ballet.

One of the fastest growing franchise businesses in the UK, babyballet was founded in 2005 to create an experience for six months to six-year-olds to dance to gain confidence and shine, in a fun, caring and supportive environment, away from the traditionally strict and serious classes often associated with ballet.

With 74 franchises currently in the UK, Claire successfully expanded the business into Australia and New Zealand last year, establishing 33 new franchises down under with more in the pipeline. Over 25,000 children now enjoy babyballet on both sides of the world every week.

The ‘What’s On 4 Kids’ award winner’s ceremony takes place on October 3rd at NatWest in Bishopsgate, London.


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Dance teacher at babyballet Dartford Bexley and Bromley nominated in the Whats On 4 Kids Awards 2018 Bexley Times