It is exciting times in the Dragons’ Den backed theatre school franchise with new school openings across the UK, the third school to open in Essex and a new product launching for the first time ever in Ireland.
The new Principals have recently returned from the Razzamataz 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 build the school to the latest health and safety advice and child licensing laws, there is an enormous amount of information to digest initially. The sessions are delivered by the Head Office staff as well as a number of outside trainers who are experts in their field.
“We work with a number of trainers to deliver a week which enables new franchisees to have a thorough grounding in running a theatre school,” explains Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “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. Principals are encouraged to return to our free training sessions to ensure that they keep up with all the developments in our industry.”
There are six more Principals joining the network and more schools opening across the UK. A first for Razzamataz is a new branch opening in Northern Ireland. Alanna Cassidy is launching the new franchise Razzamataz Early Years Ballymena North and South. Originally from Northern Ireland, Alanna began working for Razzamataz Carlisle in 2015 during her final year at university as a classroom assistant. She is currently a performing arts teacher for Razzamataz Carlisle and a drama teacher for Razzamataz Dumfries and Razzamataz Penrith. Understanding the Razzamataz brand so well, she was the perfect choice to launch Razzamataz Early Years.
The franchise encompasses Razz Tiny Tots, which is a new class for 6-24 months and the established products of Razz Tots for ages 2-3 and Razz Minis for ages 5-6.
“I have loved working for Razzamataz and it is a dream come true to now be the Principal of my own school and bring it back to my home of Northern Ireland,” says Alanna. “It is very exciting to be launching Razzamataz Early Years, especially with our new product that is quite unique to the area.”
Throughout the UK, the Razzamataz brand is growing and now there is a third school to join Rayleigh West and Brentwood in Essex. Kate Ward, is the new Principal of Razzamataz Southend and brings with her years of dance experience and a strong brand name to the area.
“The training week was really intense but we learnt so much that I now feel ready to go full steam ahead with the launch of Razzamataz Southend,” says Kate. “The Razzamataz brand is already very strong in Essex and it is growing all the time so it is a wonderful opportunity for me to join the network. I have three young children and it’s great that I have found something that I can be passionate about while still being able to work around their needs.”
Georgia Hill joins as the Principal of Razzamataz Bristol North along with Michaela Crumpton who is the Principal of Razzamataz Bristol South. Georgia has taught fitness and dance classes to adults for over 22 years as well as teaching Yoga to children in schools. She has a love of theatre and the arts and is very excited to be the new Bristol North Principal and having a rewarding and fun new career. Michaela has worked for Razzamataz for six years starting out as a cover vocal coach. She has seen the school go from 12 children to nearly 80 and she is very excited to be stepping into the shoes of Principal and is looking forward to growing the school further with lots of projects to engage with the students.
Matty Aitchison is the new Principal of Razzamataz West Cumbria and has also worked for various Razzamataz Theatre Schools in Cumbria for more than five years. At the age of 16 he approached MD Denise who was the Principal at Carlisle in 2010 to see if he could do some work experience after watching his sister in a show. Since then, he went on to gain a joint honours degree in Drama Performance and Technical Theatre from the University of Cumbria and now he has finally achieved his dream of becoming a Razzamataz Principal.
Katarina Melling is the new Principal of Razzamataz High Wycombe. As a student of the Royal College of Music, she discovered an affinity for opera. Katarina was selected for various young artist development courses such as the inaugural Glyndebourne Academy with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and as a young artist with the Amadé Players. She graduated from Goldsmiths College with a Music degree specialising in Classical Performance and since then has been performing and teaching. Since joining Razzamataz High Wycombe in 2016, Saturday mornings have become one of the highlights of her week and she is very excited to take on the role of Principal.
“We have a wonderful mix of new Principals and delighted that Amanda, Principal of Paisley and Catherine, Principal of Rayleigh West have signed their renewal agreements for a further five years,” adds Denise. “We are working towards our exciting 20-year anniversary so this is a wonderful time to become part of our network.”
To keep up with demand, Razzamataz is now holding increased training sessions to allow more people to open their own theatre schools. This is in addition to all the other online learning via webinars as well as support calls, additional training to launch new products, the annual Conference and regular regional meetings.
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
To find out if franchising is the right option for you, Razzamataz holds regular Discovery Den days across the UK where potential franchisees get a chance to meet the head office team, find out more about franchising in general and discover what it is like to run a part-time theatre school.
If you would like to find out more about becoming part of our team and attending a Discovery Den, chat to Head of Recruitment Suzie on E:[email protected] or call 07793 054 233.