ANNIE Keating loved performing as a child.

It gave her confidence and unearthed a passion for the arts that she wants to pass onto the next generation of performers.

Here, in our latest Business of the Week feature, Annie tells us how she started her performance school in October 2022 and now has more than 20 classes for children and young people of all ages.

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What’s the name of the business?

AK Studios

What’s the address?

St Peter’s Primary School,

Mercer Street,


WA12 9UR

Are you the owner/manager?

Yes, I’m the owner.

When did you open the business?

I opened the business in October 2022.

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

I live here now and have done for three years, but I grew up in Grappenhall, Warrington.

Annie Keating opened AK Studios in October 2022

Annie Keating opened AK Studios in October 2022

Tell me a bit about your business

AK Studios is a performance school offering 22 classes a week in nine different genres for children aged 18 months and over. I offer children in Newton-le-Willows the chance to train at a high standard with highly qualified teachers who work in the performance industry. They take part in yearly shows and local performances on High Street as well as yearly exams under the ISTD gaining them UCAS points for their future, workshops and intensives with industry professionals coming from as far as New York to teach them.

Read more:

Parlez-vous français? Fun French classes for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers

What do you do? What services do you provide?

ISTD Modern, Ballet and Tap

Acro under Acrobatic Arts

Hip Hop



Performing Arts

Baby boogie

Why did you decide to open your own business?

I noticed there were no performance schools in Newton-le-Willows offering what I can offer and local children were having to travel to the surrounding areas such as Earlestown, Warrington, St Helens and Wigan.

What’s your business background?

I am a fully qualified ISTD teacher in tap, modern and ballet with more than 12 years of freelance teaching, choreographing and judging experience around the world, as far as Australia.

Why this type of business?

It is my passion and I wanted local children to get the experiences that performing gave me as a child.

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

No, I was a freelance teacher during the pandemic.

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Baby classes are blooming and keeping little ones entertained

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

I feel I am very current as I still work in the industry as a freelance choreographer with different schools and companies, so I can always bring back new ideas to my students. I also have many ex-students that I taught in my years being a freelance teacher who are now all over the world performing professionally. They are always super excited to come back and teach my students so they get a taste of life as a performer in the West End, on Broadway, on cruise ships or with dance companies performer. They love nothing more a Q&A session with them after these workshops.

Students are invited to perform in yearly shows

Students are invited to perform in yearly shows

Why do loyal customers return to your business?

Because they see instant progression in their children - in their confidence, creativity, social skills and mental health. I am very affordable for the services I offer.

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

I would like AK Studios to continue to grow and I am working towards one day having my own studios close to High Street.