Claire O’Connor is successful entrepreneur and female business leader who turned her own painful experiences of ballet into a global brand.
Claire was born into the world of ballet as her mum Barbara Peters was a Royal Academy of Dance examiner and dance school owner. Claire attended traditional ballet classes but gave up at 14 because she felt she was the wrong shape and not good enough. It left her with her mental health badly affected including low self-confidence, low self esteem and a poor body image.
She didn’t want others to be affected in this way so had a vision to create a brand, which was confidence-building, fun and inclusive.
Claire built the brand from scratch with no business experience but what she did have was bucketfuls of passion, determination, enthusiasm and integrity! It is now one of the world’s leading preschool dance brands with over 100 babyballet® franchises globally and over 25,000 children enjoying classes every week.
Franchising the business has allowed her to develop over 100 territories worldwide and she is responsible for leading over 1000 people globally.
Not only does babyballet proves that shape, size and ability are not barriers to ballet, she has also given other women the opportunity to have their own business as a franchisee. With over 95% of franchisees and teachers being female, babyballet® is a wonderful advocate for women business owners. Claire has also been shortlisted Outstanding Entrepreneur for the 2023 Northern Power Women Awards.
Claire is an insightful, caring, compassionate and inspirational entrepreneur and leader who manages her company with openness and enthusiasm.
Claire is now a sought after, International motivational and inspirational speaker as she shares her story with raw honesty, humour and sincerity.
Founder, Franchisor and CEO of babyballet Limited(UK) , babyballet Franchising Limited (UK) and babyballet® PTY Ltd (AUS).