Lizzy Walkom Is the founder and owner of Pretty Little Ballerinas since 2013. first opened in Surry Hills at Surry Neighbourhood Centre, teaching just 2-3 years and 3-5 years ballet classes. Since then Pretty Little Ballerinas has expanded, now offering ballet for children aged 2 years through to graded RAD syllabus, with 7 studios located across Sydney’s Inner City and Eastern Suburbs.
Where and how long have you lived in Sydney’s east?
I live in North Bondi, and have lived in Sydney’s East for 15 years.
Three words that describe what it’s like to live in the eastern suburbs?
Busy, Fun, Friendly.
How many children?
1 – He is 10 months old.
I’m new to exploring the park’s in the East. A favourite of ours is Bondi Beach Park. Lots of equipment suitable for all ages.
North Bondi – always.
Favourite kid friendly cafe:
Coogee Pavilion. The kids area at the back is great.
Favourite Coffee Spot:
Can I pick two – Brew North Bondi and Will & Co Critical Slides.
Favourite date night place:
Where in the east have you yet to explore and would like to ?
As I’ve lived in the East for 15 years there is not much of the East I haven’t seen. I love the outdoors and finding news places. One of my favourite places to explore is the small little beach spots between Rose Bay and Watsons Bay. We have yet to show our son many of these little beaches so plan to do that over Summer.
What would you like to see improve in the eastern suburbs?
Parking, wouldn’t we all agree!
Favourite Local Shop:
Young Bondi – the cutest toys for little people.
Favourite wet weather location:
My home, with a little one it’s always tricky to get around when it’s raining so we tend to stay put in wet weather.
Favourite Local family Weekend Activity?
As a first time mum and having spent the past 3 months in lockdown, it’s walks to explore new parks or picnic spots.
Work or SAHM?
I run a ballet school Pretty Little Ballerinas for children 2-10 years in Sydney’s East and Inner City. During the first lockdown in 2020 I was pregnant and working from home as we offered online classes for the children. It was definitely challenging adapting to online learning for little ones while experiencing morning sickness. Seeing the children’s faces light up each day when they got to see myself or one of the other PLB teachers on the screen and knowing we were able to create some form of normality to their world that just got turned upside down with no preschool, no playdates, no park visits, no activities etc. made me so grateful that I was able to pivot the business so quickly to online learning. Five weeks after my son was born I returned to work 1 half day a week, and have slowly increased my in-studio teaching hours now that he almost 1. Teaching children is such a rewarding job, I often forget it’s my job. I can’t wait for my son to be older enough to attend ballet classes so I can share my love for teaching and dancing onto him. When I’m not in the studio it’s juggling business admin, because there is always something happening behind the scenes, and being a first time mum.
How did you survive Sydney’s Lockdown?
I’m so grateful we have just come out of lockdown. It hasn’t been easy running a small business and keeping a 10 month old entertained in lockdown. I found breaking up the day into 3 section – Morning, Afternoon, Evening. Making sure either the morning or afternoon was spent outdoors with my son, and then knowing the evening was either a catch up on work so I could sleep well knowing I didn’t have jump into work the following morning, or I would take the evening to completely switch off if it had been a full on day.
Go with the flow, ask for help and forget the chores. Enjoy every moment of it, they grow up too quickly.