Franchising Success: A Principal’s Story

Apr 9, 2024 | Success Stories

Louise Parsons has always been fuelled by a passion for the performing arts.

As a child who primarily loved to dance, Louise grew up seeing drama as an extra fun element – one where she could become another character and take centre stage in school productions. After graduating from Bath Spa University with a degree in dance, Louise became a dance teacher at a school before moving to Wales with her husband, where she found there was work to do to help the performing arts sector flourish.

Now, seven years after becoming a teacher for Drama Kids and just two months after opening her academy, Louise is shining bright. Having opened an additional territory already and witnessed how her work has transformed lives, Louise is well on her way to achieving principal stardom. 

Louise Parsons Image

“When I finished university, the natural progression for me was to become a dance teacher, so I taught at a school for about a year until we moved to Wales. I was shocked to find there wasn’t a dance or performing arts scene in Wales that was as accessible as it was in England, so instead of being able to go into a profession I loved, it became a case of just getting a job to pay the bills.

I worked in a Co-Operative supermarket for a while before working for Admiral car insurance for five years until I had my son. This is when things changed for us – we decided it wasn’t practical for me to return to my office job, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise!

A Glowing New Chapter

“One day I stumbled across Drama Kids who were advertising online for a teacher to join their team. They fit perfectly with my lifestyle and after looking into them, I realised how brilliant the brand is. I’ve always loved performing – dance was the art I loved the most growing up, but I always loved being in school productions and plays. The acting side of performing arts was a fun element to me and I wanted to keep it this way, choosing to study dance instead at university. Acting has always been something I would love to do – I loved being able to take on a character and I didn’t want to lose this sense of joy by being examined on my performance. Drama Kids as a brand was everything I wanted as a teenager – a relaxed, welcoming environment that focuses on the fun of performing.”

Becky Goodfield, Principal of Drama Kids Drama Academy South Wales, interviewed Louise and, seeing her passion to help children become their best selves through drama, took her on as a teacher in 2015. “At the time, Becky was the franchisee for the whole of South Wales – from Swansea right the way over to Monmouth – and I began my teaching in three different areas. These were all relatively close together which was really convenient for me. My teaching hours were ideal and fitted around my growing family – I was so happy to have found a supportive career path that enabled me to help children develop their confidence and self-esteem.”

A Golden Opportunity


“A few years down the line, Becky needed an extra hand to help her with the admin at her franchise. I had gotten used to teaching by this point so was happy to jump on board and help out where I could, teaching and assisting Becky with the admin throughout the pandemic until this April.

At this point, my daughter had started full-time school and, with extra time on my hands to help Becky grow the academy, Becky asked me what my five-year plan was – and I didn’t have one!

She then told me there was the potential for me to purchase part of the franchise. I was thrilled to be given the opportunity and, after being invested in Drama Kids and its culture for so many years, it felt like the perfect next step.”

Louise Parsons Family
For over 40 years, Drama Kids have been helping children develop inside and outside the classroom through structured drama lessons. An art that incorporates more than just technique, drama supports children in developing social interaction skills and their self-esteem, helping them to become the best performer they can be. Our ethos of ‘Development through Drama’ means our franchisees who operate in over 30 countries with over 225 academies all work towards the same goal – to encourage students to be confident within themselves so they can excel in all aspects of their lives. This is just one of the reasons that over 100,000 children attend our classes across the globe each week.

“The curriculum and support at Drama Kids are second to none, and these are the things that make me so proud to work for the brand. As a child, although I loved performing, I always felt like there was someone better than me – everyone would say, “Oh they’re shining so bright” and I didn’t feel like I was shining brightly.”

“This is where Drama Kids is different – it’s not about creating the next star; it’s about building lifelong skills. I’ve had students who have gone to university, and I know they have taken skills from what we have taught them into adulthood. Growing up, I wish I had had a place like this – where I could feel valued and know I was learning important things whilst having a lot of fun.”

All new franchisees are fully trained in all aspects of the teaching, marketing and administration of our programme, and are provided with all curriculum content each term over a four-year period. Support includes training throughout the first year of launching the academy as well as regular visits and continued support from the training team in subsequent years.

Drama Kids’s proven structure allows franchisees to combine their passion for drama with a business in a secure role, creating a brighter future for students, local communities and the performing arts sector.

B2B Blog Drama Kids Students

“My training was intense, but in the best possible way! Florence, who had also purchased part of the South Wales franchise, and I did our training at the same time. We were very lucky as because both of us are located near Becky, we did a lot of face-to-face training with her which fitted around all our schedules. Most new principals go on an in-depth course together, but we were very lucky that we got to stay at home with our families. 

“Florence and I were the first new principals under Trafalgar Entertainment’s ownership, which meant there was a lot of change happening! It was quite demanding for all of head office – including Becky and another principal, Alison, who were training us – but we all had an amazing time and really enjoyed the process. Although I had some teaching experience, my knowledge of running a business was limited. Knowing I had the support of everyone was really comforting. 

A Bright Future Ahead

Since taking over as principal in Cardiff West and the Vale in April 2022, Louise has gone from strength to strength. “The support I receive every day on my journey as a principal means I’ve already been able to open another academy in Bridgend. Although I’m trying not to run before I can walk, I have big goals for the future – I would love to open more classes and, as my territory is quite large, I know I have the space to be able to do this.”

“In April I was very much hand-held through the summer period, which is the production term where we focus on the performance rather than the daily teaching. These last few months have felt like my first ‘proper’ term as a principal. I’ve already witnessed how much I can do in a short amount of time, and I would love to open another couple of classes in the next year or two – I want to try and fill my territory with opportunities for the children in my area to spread Drama Kids’s amazing ethos as far as I can!”

“I’m also ensuring my focus on my longstanding classes isn’t lost, taking the time to nurture the students in these classes. I have always taught them and it’s really important to me I’m there for them throughout their time with the brand. Whilst I plan to build my own Drama Kids empire within my territory and seize every opportunity to make new relationships in the franchisee network, the support and care of my students will always come first.

“Being able to prioritise my own children, as well as my students, has also been incredible. I currently teach nine classes – 89 kids in total – but my family have never suffered because of this. I can work from home and my teaching hours always fit around my schedule – my kids can even come to the classes with me too now as they’re the right age, so I’m able to spend even more time with them. I’m really happy with the work-life balance I have right now – I’m not teaching when my kids are off from school in the holidays, and I can prioritise family time whilst still making sure I get my admin done – it’s an ideal situation.”

“If I think now about returning to a previous job, whether that be in an office or working behind the bar at a pub, I don’t think I could bear it – there’s no going back, and it’s wonderful. I’m so passionate about the ethos at Drama Kids and helping the students that although there will always be a few tricky days, I now feel I’m radiating with confidence as a principal.”

If, like Louise, you want to help children develop their confidence through drama, find out more here.

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