UK pre-school ballet sensation expands classes in New Zealand

Press Release – 14 February 2020

A professional dancer from Auckland is to lead the expansion of babyballet classes across New Zealand, with a syllabus aimed at developing pre-schoolers’ confidence in dance without the competitiveness of exams.

The award winning babyballet offers its dance and ballet syllabus through four stages of classes for children aged from six months to six years. It delivers around 2,000 classes a week attended by around 25,000 children in the UK alone, along with classes in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore.

In New Zealand, babyballet classes are already held at the Renaissance School of Dance in Auckland, Rise Dance Company in Tauranga and Spot on Movement in Oamaru. Now dance teacher Emma Payne has been appointed babyballet’s ‘Master Licensee’ for New Zealand to introduce more families to the award-winning classes and to work to grow the brand through the recruitment of dance studio owners as new licensees.

After graduating from the Auckland City Ballet Centre in 2001, Emma went on to dance professionally around the world. She discovered the babyballet syllabus in England through a friend who she danced with onboard cruise liners and had gone on to open a babyballet school of her own.

“It was incredible to see how popular the classes became in such a short space of time,” Emma said. “I went along to watch the classes and I’ll never forget the moment I saw all of the happy little faces with twinkles in their eyes – it was the most magical moment to see and even as young as six months old! It is not surprising at all that babyballet has won so many awards in the UK.”

The babyballet syllabus has been created to make learning to dance at such a young age fun, educational and focussed on developing pre-schoolers and their confidence. The classes are brought to life in the children’s imaginations with the magical adventures and loveable characters of Twinkle Bear, Teddy Bear and their special friends Flutterstar the Fairy and Chuck the Cowboy.

Emma said: “With babyballet, there is a very clear path and progression for every age group, highlighting the need for the expansion of the syllabus in dance schools across New Zealand, without the competitiveness of exams. I only wish there had been something like this when I was a little one.”

Claire O’Connor, CEO of babyballet, said: “We’re delighted to have Emma on board to grow babyballet in her beautiful home country. The emphasis of our classes is on fun and building children’s confidence in those very important pre-school years. Fifteen years on from my first ever babyballet class held in the UK, I’m thrilled that the concept will be introduced to pre-schoolers and their families across New Zealand.”

Emma’s babyballet classes are held at Meadowbank Community Centre, Remuera. To see the timetable and find out more visit babyballet Remuera or email 

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a babyballet licensee please contact Emma on 022 322 4020 or Apply today for your own babyballet preschool dance program.