BABIES, toddlers and their grown-ups can join in and dance at Little Mover Warrington – there’s no sitting back and watching other people have fun!

Sarah Horton bought the Warrington franchise of the national company in December 2020 – mid Covid-19 pandemic – and held her first classes in April 2021 to families desperate to get back to normality so their little ones could enjoy music and dance once restrictions were lifted.

Here, in our latest Business of the Week feature, Sarah tells us what it was like launching classes during the Covid-19 pandemic and why families are keen to return to her sessions every week.

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Little Movers Warringtons Sarah Horton

Little Movers Warrington's Sarah Horton

What’s the name of the business?

Little Movers Warrington

What’s the address?

We hold classes across Warrington, currently in Orford, Poplars and Hulme, Padgate, Whittle Hall, Penketh, Culcheth and Stretton.

Are you the owner/manager?

I’m the owner.

When did you open the business?

I bought the franchise in December 2020 and started classes in April 2021.

Little Movers uses sensory toys in class

Little Movers uses sensory toys in class

Has it always been in the same location?

I own a franchise and the area has grown from 2022 with four postcode to now the whole of Warrington with six postcodes - WA1, WA2, WA3, WA4, WA5, WA13

Are you local to the area? Did you grow up here?

I’m born and bred in Orford.

Tell me a bit about your business. What do you do? What services do you provide?

We run dance and movement classes suitable for children from birth to preschool age. We are a parent and child class that promotes movement and fitness to get both children and adults active and having fun. I host birthday parties for children aged one to six across Warrington. We also work in nurseries providing Early Years PE sessions and work in schools providing PE dance and movement sessions for children in reception to Year Two. We also work with local care homes providing inter-generational classes with preschool children and the elderly. We hold special event parties at Easter and Christmas and hold summer fairs every year, which brings together other providers across Warrington to showcase their classes. These events help us work together as a community for children in Warrington.

Why did you decide to open your own business?

After finishing my second period of maternity leave, I decided I wanted to do something for myself and something that I loved. I also wanted something that would work around my new family. I have always worked with children and have a degree in childhood studies, so I knew the route I wanted to take. After looking at a few franchises in the area, I didn’t find anything that suited me and my personality that incorporated my love for learning and fitness. I then came across Little Movers UK - a franchise predominantly (at the time) in the north east. I jumped at the chance! It was everything I loved about dance, fitness and play and ensures children are having fun while keeping healthy. It also gives me the freedom to work around my children’s schedules and keep a perfect work life balance.


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What’s your business background?

I’ve owned my own business before but I have worked in the childcare industry for more than 20 years. Running a business has been a new challenge and has kept me on my toes as I’ve learnt not just new skills but also found new confidence in myself and my own abilities. It’s forever a learning journey and I am always striving to improve on my business.

Why this type of business?

I love working with children and owning a franchise gives me the chance to continue and develop an already made business model. Little Movers is perfect for my own skill set and love of dance and fitness.

Were you open before/during/after the Covid-19 pandemic? How did this affect your business?

I bought the franchise in December 2020 and another lockdown followed when classes were about to start back up. This meant I couldn’t officially run any in person classes until April 2021. For my first term, I had 10 sessions across Warrington and every class sold out before we had even stepped foot in the door. Classes were different then as social distancing and mask wearing did hinder some fundamental aspects of our sessions but we loved it just the same. Many of my first families are still with me now either with the same children or their second born.

Babies, toddlers and pre schoolers love the parachute game

Babies, toddlers and pre schoolers love the parachute game

What makes your business different to others in the same area/field? What sets your business apart from your competitors?

Little Movers UK is the “most loved dance, music and performing arts class in the UK” 2022 and 2023 at the Whatson4kids Awards.

Although we are a baby and toddler class, we focus on movement and dance, even for our babies that are only a few weeks old. We are a parent participation class so there is no sitting back and watching and we use lots of sensory toys when we move. Bonding with children is a fundamental part of our sessions and we ensure that children and their grownups are dancing and having fun together. Even with our baby movers, we don’t just sit on a mat - we are up dancing and having fun. Our classes aren’t just for the children, they’re for the adults too and we have many grandparents who say they love attending as it’s like a mini fitness class for them.


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Why do loyal customers return to your business?

We consistently have more than a hundred families return to our sessions every term and families that have been with us for nearly three years (since our opening) as well as those that are bringing along their new children too. Baby Movers and Little Movers isn’t just about the children - we are about adults too. We ensure families get to know each other and have fun together and make friends. Watching your child’s face light up as they are dancing and playing is a feeling like nothing else.

I am loyal to my customers. I will do anything that I can to help them out and many of my customers aren’t just customers anymore, they’re my friends. I also run yearly summer fairs that bring together other children’s activity providers and businesses in the Warrington area to showcase their sessions or products. We also raise a huge amount of money every year for Children in Need – more than £3,000 in 2022 and £1,800 in 2023.

What’s next? What do the next few months hold for you and your business?

I am always on the lookout for new challenges with Little Movers Warrington. We have just started regular intergenerational sessions with Nurture, Grow and Learn Nursery and Preschool and Cromwell Court Nursing Home, which is a fabulous experience for everyone involved. My next step is to add more nurseries and schools to my weekly sessions so more children in Warrington have the experience of attending our sessions, improving their fitness and discovering a love of dance.

Children and their grown-ups are encouraged to join in

Children and their grown-ups are encouraged to join in