TINY dancers were given their first taste of ballet as the youngsters enjoyed a lesson alongside their parents.

Kelly Johnson runs classes for babies and children in the Colchester area.

Parents are encouraged to join in the fun as they sample ballet and tap for the first time.

Kelly said: “It helps to build co-ordination and confidence.

“It also helps them to understand patience and, to a certain extent, discipline as we try and keep them on the mats.

“It is a great bonding experience as well for parents and their babies.

“As a teacher I get to see them progress together.

“We get parents who see their child jump or even walk for the first time as they try and run off after the older kids.

“The older ones can show the younger ones how it is done.”

The baby ballet programme was founded 14 years ago in the UK and now runs classes as far afield as Australia and New Zealand.

Classes are offered in Colchester for children between the ages of six months and six years wanting to be the next Darcey Bussell.

And it is not all work and no play.

Kelly said: “The aim is for them to have fun and make friends along the way.”

“I have been working for baby ballet for five years and took over the Colchester franchise in January.”

For more information and to book a class, visit babyballet.co.uk/babyballet-school/colchester