Empowering women leaders through Razzamataz and franchising

When Denise Gosney left school in the late 80s, the choices for women were somewhat limiting. She knew that she didn’t want to be trapped in an office 9-5, so she decided to follow her passion and pursue a career as a professional dancer.

Founder Denise on her world cruise

“I had an amazing time, travelling the world and performing at some incredible venues but I knew that the life of a dancer is fairly short lived,”
Denise explains. “My involvement in the performing arts industry proved immensely rewarding. It not only boosted my confidence and equipped me with valuable life skills but also showed me the potential for children to experience similar growth. This realisation gave me the idea for Razzamataz, and I’ve never looked back.”

Denise opened her first Razzamataz school back in 2000 and it was the sheer popularity of the classes that led her to decide to franchise as she explains. “I basically couldn’t keep up with the demand and I also had a lot of dance friends that were asking me about how they could open their own theatre schools. The business grew very organically but it was when I went on BBC’s Dragons’ Den and Duncan Bannatyne offered me the full investment that things really went up another level.”

After the Den, Denise secured her first overseas contract with TUI, supplying performing arts teachers to various holiday resorts worldwide. The business in the UK was also growing at a steady rate, with new
schools opening every year. As the brand’s exposure increased, more opportunities presented themselves including collaborations with major household names such as The Prince’s Trust, Paramount Pictures, Mattel, Disney, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox to name just a few.

As Razzamataz expanded, so did the opportunities for students including multiple connections with professionals in the performing arts industry, the chance to perform in several prestigious theatres in London’s West End, overseas trips to learn from the very best of Broadway and even performing at Disneyland Paris.


Further accolades have come in the form of major award wins, positive press coverage from various media outlets worldwide and an expanding network of partnerships with prestigious organisations across industries.

However, the path to success is never straightforward as Denise explains:
“As a female business leader, I’ve faced my fair share of obstacles, but I’ve always seen them as opportunities for growth and change. Certainly there are challenges to navigate, barriers to breakdown and glass ceilings to smash through, but I truly believe that the life skills I learned as a performer, have equipped me with the resilience and determination needed to overcome any obstacle.”


One aspect that Denise is most proud of, is the flexible nature of owning a Razzamataz franchise appeals to many people, especially women who are often in a caring role at home, whether that is for their own children or adult relatives.“We have a wide range of franchisees and many of them are mums who can run very successful businesses alongside being a parent, something that is not always possible in other industries. As a business leader, my mission is to empower women to leverage their inherent strengths. We achieve this by providing comprehensive support, including tailored training, personalised mentorship, and targeted business coaching, equipping them with the tools necessary to thrive as theatre school owners.”

Looking to the future, Denise believes that we must focus our efforts on the young people of today. Razzamataz ensures this happens through its legacy of creating a registered charity called Future Fund, providing grants to students going on to study at performing arts colleges or universities. “The idea for the charity was conceived through my own lived experience of having to drop out of college because of lack of funds,” says Denise.

“Although I eventually found a way, it was heartbreaking at the time and my life could have turned out very differently. These young people really are the future female entrepreneurs; we have many former students that now teach for us as well as run their own Razzamataz franchise.” In terms of the future of the business, Denise has recently returned from another fact finding trip to Dubai as Razzamataz is one step closer to
launching internationally.

“It’s exciting to be building a brand and platform in Dubai, with Razzamataz having been invited to several educational conferences and most recently I attended the Women Leaders of the World event,” adds Denise. “Even after nearly 25 years in business, I’m still just as passionate about what Razzamataz can do for children, and this is what continues to drive me to this day. If I were to share what I’ve learnt with other female entrepreneurs, it would be that you must passionately believe in your business and the benefits that it provides. There will always be tough times but if you are unwavering in your belief, this will see you through the hard times.”


Article Credit: https://www.thebfa.org/