The new principal of Razzamataz Medway, Emily Nachshon, talks fitting the franchise around family life and her love for dance
What experience did you have before becoming a franchisee?
EN: I’ve never even stepped into an office but the support available at Razzamataz has given me the confidence to go for it. As a freelance dancer and teacher, I’m used to being self-employed and promoting myself but running a theatre school requires a different skill set. My mum has asked why I don’t just set up on my own, but I knew the support of being in a franchise is invaluable. There are others in the same boat as you and the head office is there willing you on and encouraging you every step of the way. That is the most enticing element of being in a franchise I feel.
What did you know about franchising?
EN: Very little. Even when I was working as a teacher at Razzamataz, I didn’t know much about the franchise side of the business. It was only when we won a franchise award that I started to learn the benefits of being part of such a well-respected brand.
Why did you decide to become a franchisee?
EN: I live and breathe Razzamataz and I’m so passionate about the school. When the opportunity came to take over the school, it was a big decision as I have big shoes to fill.
What support have you received?
EN: I’ve been so well supported that although at times it can feel a bit scary, there are always people to speak to. The training does put you at ease and it’s a relaxed environment to learn. You are encouraged to contribute as much as possible and there’s no such thing as a silly question.
What are your goals?
EN: Razzamataz Medway has been hugely successful but I have my own goals in place to build on what is already there. I have two children aged five and two and I really feel my youngest son has missed out a lot because of the pandemic. I would like to introduce more Tots classes for the parents who have not been able to take their children to activities and I have lots of ideas for summer schools for the senior students, where I can call on my industry contacts to give them unique opportunities.
How does Razzamataz suit your lifestyle?
EN: The great thing about Razzamataz is that you can pick it up and put it down whenever suits you. I work for a few hours while my youngest is at nursery and then I can get back to stuff in the evening when they are in bed. I really want to be able to enjoy the children while they are young and Razzamataz gives you that flexibility.
What do you look forward to now you are a principal?
EN: I’m so excited by the students’ success and it’s amazing to see them go on to appear in West End shows, gaining places at college and even becoming team members. As the principal, it will be amazing to have an even closer connection to them and their families. I can’t wait to put my own spin on things and bring fresh ideas to the school.
What advice do you have for potential franchisees?
EN: I love the values and ethos at Razzamataz so for anyone considering joining, it is worth visiting other schools and maybe doing some work experience to see if your own values align. Anyone can open a theatre school, but not all theatre schools will be successful. I believe that Razzamataz has such a great reputation because the children are really the heart of the schools and the same opportunities are available to all the students, ensuring inclusivity and a supportive environment.