This week we interviewed professional dancer and diddi dance founder Anne-Marie Martin. She has two children, Bobby,  7 years and Lily 3 years. Anne-Marie lives with her children and PE teacher husband in Plumstead, south-east London. 

What inspired you start up diddi dance?

As a professional dancer I always loved teaching children to dance. I had taught children from 4 years up but found myself being asked about under 4s classes and realised there was a gap in the market.

diddi dance was recently featured on Strictly Come Dancing; tell us a bit about this, what’s it like to be on set?

It was so exciting having Anita and Gleb come to one of our classes and join in with our jive themed class. They gave us an exclusive peek of their routine and Gleb taught us a few moves. We had a small camera crew in with and being in our regular venue relaxed and settled the children.

As a professional dancer with over 20 years of teaching experience, was it always your dream to become a dancer and when did you first get into leaning how to dance?

I started dance classes when I was 3 at my local dance school and from the very first class I loved it. I tried 3 styles and my mum asked me which one I would like to take up to which I replied ALL OF THEM! As I got older I found I was quite good and decided that after my GCSEs I wanted to go on to train full time for my degree in dance.

What do you feel is the ideal age to start dance classes, and what advice would you give to parents wanting to sign their child up?

I think if you find the right preschool class that makes dance, fun and funky and engaging then the younger the better. We are passionate about under 5s having an experience of dance as a really positive one which will hopefully see them always enjoying dancing as they get older and  move on to more technique based sessions.

What’s the favourite part of your job?

The children! Their energy and smiles make even the gloomiest day bright.

Share with us your favourite family recipe.

We have a fussy eater in our house so anything of a sloppy texture doesn’t go down well so my favourite recipe wouldn’t be my son’s one. I think a good paella mixing so many different ingredients works well in our house where he can pick out the bits he likes and it isn’t covered in sauce. I love a seafood one and husband and children love a chicken one.

What’s the one baby product you couldn’t have lived without?

When my 2 were little I loved the pottette travelling potty, they cant hold it when they need to go and this saved my life many times.

What’s in the pipeline for you next?

diddi dance is growing through franchising all over the UK. We currently have 41 franchisees who are now able to run a flexible business around their family life. Our aim is to continue to grow this way so we can get as many under 5s moving as possible and getting children physically active.

How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?

Focused, hard working, fun and a little bit bonkers 🙂