Boys have taken centre stage in the Royal Academy of Dance’s drive to attract more male dancers, recently launching Project B to increase the proportion of boys taking part in dance activities by 2020. Project B will include a range of initiatives to widen access to dance for boys and encourage more to take up ballet, firing up boys’ imaginations with new dance partnerships inspired by sports and superheroes. Male role models have been recruited for the initiative, including Principal Dancers Iain Mackay (Scottish Ballet) and Alexander Campbell (The Royal Ballet).
In celebration of its upcoming centenary in 2020, the RAD aims to bring dance to more people in more places, and will be initially investing over £30,000 to further support male dance provision over the next three years. More Boys Only! workshops and Boys Ballet Masterclasses will be taking place, as well as bursaries and financial support for regular tuition. This offering of financial support aims to encourage more men to train as dance teachers, and will create new resources for existing teachers to engage with boys at all levels
Project B launches with a focus on key strands, including:
RAD is partnering with Marylebone Cricket Club, London to launch a six week pilot scheme in primary schools. The project aims to promote the strong connection between dance and sport, and challenge traditional stereotypes of both cricketers and dancers. Focusing on strength, stamina, balance and fitness, and the links between sport and dance, this project hopes to encourage more boys to learn ballet and more girls to try cricket.
In a bid to inspire a ballet boom for boys, RAD Male Dance Ambassador Iain Mackay, has created choreography that will challenge stereotypes surrounding male dance, and ballet in particular, and celebrate boys who dance. The choreography, which is simple, fun and suitable for all ages and abilities, will be free to download via the smartphone app Seenit. Based on terms and references from popular culture, it will get boys busting ballet moves in a language they can relate to.