Compete In Moving North

Royal Academy of DanceTake your dancing in a new direction with the Royal Academy of Dance and Moving North, an exciting new dance competition for 2015 open to young dancers aged 8-18, based in the north of England.

The RAD is looking for solos, duos and groups to perform a piece of original choreography in ballet, jazz, contemporary or street dance/hip hop to compete in three regional heats. No RAD experience is required but applicants must live in the UK or Ireland, and not be in full time dance training or have had any professional dance experience.

Taking place in four locations across northern England – Bolton, Leeds and York for the heats, and Salford for the Final, budding young performers from all over the UK can showcase their dancing. Heats will take place in Leeds on 3 May (closing date 9 March), Bolton on 10 May (closing date 16 March) and York on 21 June (closing date 13 April). You may apply to perform at any one of the three heats, regardless of where you are based or where you take dance classes.

The best performances from each heat will go through to the Moving North final at The Lowry in Salford on 18 July, which will be judged by a panel chaired by the RAD’s Artistic Director Lynn Wallis. The prize will be a VIP box at the annual Dance Proms (to be held at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 15 November 2015), as well as the of promotion of your act on the RAD’s website.

For further details and to download an application pack, visit

The RAD’s Virtual Launch

Royal Academy of DanceOn 10 September the Royal Academy of Dance will be launching Progressions: the launch of the new Advanced Foundation, 1 & 2 syllabi. It will be a virtual launch of the new work of the vocational graded examinations meaning members and non members alike will be able to watch the first ever virtual launch of new RAD syllabi on 10 September. Also on offer to engage with are demonstrations of the new advanced work, interviews with the creative panel and even a live Twitter question and answer session.

The online launch will be available to view at intervals throughout the day depending on where viewers are located. In addition to the launch events are being organised across the world by RAD National and Regional Managers with countries such as USA, Canada, Brazil, Spain, Jamaica, Sri Lanka and Mexico in discussion about holding events for members to attend to watch the launch together. There will also be ‘coffee morning’ style events round the UK in many regions, and one held at RAD headquarters too.

The new syllabi (Advanced Foundation (male & female), Advanced 1 (female) and Advanced 2 (female)) challenge students to meet higher technical and artistic demands than previously, with a nod towards current ballet training and performance. Each of the new syllabi provides opportunities for self-expression and achievement through dance, while building on the foundation of previous grades offered by the RAD, in both the graded and vocational graded strands of work.

The virtual launch will highlight the RAD at the forefront of dance training, with the examination syllabus reflecting this. The new syllabi have been developed with an emphasis on choreography, music and performance through dancers’ technical development at an advanced level. As a result candidates will prepare for an internationally recognised portfolio of examinations which is seen as an industry benchmark for students working towards a professional dance career.

The 2013 Genée International Ballet Competition

The 2013 Genée International Ballet Competition

The judging panel and choreographer for the Final of the 2013 Genée International Ballet Competition has been announced by the Royal Academy of Dance in the run up to its flagship competition, fondly known as the Genée. The Genée is one of the largest annual ballet competitions in the world and is widely recognised in the dance industry, with past winners going on to dance with some of the best companies.

Retired Principal ballet dancer and recently appointed RAD President Darcey Bussell CBE, Royal Ballet Director Kevin O’Hare and Scottish Ballet Artistic Director Christopher Hampson will be judging the Final at this year’s Genée, to be held in Glasgow from 20-29 September in association with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Scottish Ballet. Hampson has been an active supporter of the Genée since 2003 when he took on the role of the Commissioned Choreographer.

The panel will select medallists from the entrants, the rising stars of ballet, who will perform variations choreographed by Royal Ballet Choreographic Apprentice Robert Binet, and also those from either 19th or 20th century classical repertoire. The entrants will have the chance to interpret new choreography from Binet, with both dancers and choreographer learning from each other. Binet’s work will be performed by both male and female competitors and will be premiered at the Final, which will take place at the Theatre Royal Glasgow on 29 September 2013. Public performances by semi-finalists will take place on 26th and 27th September at the New Athenaeum Theatre, Glasgow.

The Genée attracts high levels of talent from young dancers all over the world who have passed their RAD Advanced 2 exam. The Genée gives the judges, audience and entrants alike the chance to see the new generation of ballet talent tackle fantastic and renowned choreography on an international stage in a showcase of international dance talent.

Easter Courses For Young Dance Students

Easter 2013 Dance Courses

Despite many dance schools taking breaks for the Easter holidays, eager dance students still have the chance to dance their way through the holidays. There are a wide variety of courses to suit every dance taste, such as hip hop, musical theatre and ballet, enabling students to build on existing skills, and even gain an idea as to further training in dance which they may like to undertake in the future.

ZooNation Easter Academy are inviting beginner and intermediate level dancers to learn from ZooNation company members, covering a wide range of hip hop and street dance styles including Locking, Popping, Breaking, House and Waacking. Students will also be able to learn some original choreography from the hit West End show Some Like It Hip Hop.

The Place Youth Dynamics course can see students work with the renowned national touring company Tavaziva Dance, allowing young dancers to develop their contemporary technique and learn some of the company’s repertory.

The Royal Academy of Dance are holding a Boys’ Day of Dance for male students aged 7 – 16, enabling them to experience four different dance styles: Ballet, Street Dance, Contemporary and Capoeira. The classes held will be taught by professional male teachers and performers, helping to inspire young males in introducing them to dance.

Laine Theatre Arts’ International Easter course will incorporate Jazz, Musical Theatre and Drama workshops, building up a range of skills for students perhaps interested in auditioning for the vocational training course offered at Laine Theatre Arts in Musical Theatre and Dance.

All courses offered by a whole host of dance companies, examination boards and training institutions are fantastic opportunities to inspire new talents and develop existing skills of dance students who are eager to further their training and improve their skills.

The Fonteyn-Nureyev Partnership

Rudolf Nureyev and Margot FonteynThe partnership of Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn is one which dance audiences and balletomanes alike still speculate about. However, it remains that their partnership is perhaps one of the most celebrated and talked about in the world.

It was one of fantastic chemistry and strength, and is arguably reflected today in Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirow of English National Ballet, who have a similar age gap and performance quality to Fonteyn and Nureyev.

Nureyev was invited to make his London debut in 1961 at the annual gala organised by Margot Fonteyn for the Royal Academy of Dancing (now Royal Academy of Dance) of which she was President.

Following the gala Nureyev went on to be invited to dance in Giselle with Fonteyn, in addition to Swan Lake and the Don Quixote pas de deux, amongst many others. Work such as this laid the foundations for Nureyev’s subsequent career and link with the Royal Ballet.

The relationship between Fonteyn and Nureyev was seemingly one of balance, despite one in pointe shoes and a tutu, and the other in tights and a tunic. At 23 years old, Nureyev gave Fonteyn new life and vigour and in return Fonteyn provided Nureyev with inspiration to focus on his future career. Each dancer learned much from the other, each having similar dancing goals: this developed into one of the most talked about partnerships of the dancing world, even after their deaths and presumably far into the future too.

In their era, audiences were desperate to witness the Fonteyn-Nureyev charismatic performances and engage with some of the magic they created on stage. As a result of the demand for seeing the pair dance together, their agent went on to charge much more for the dancers as a pair than the sum of their individual fees, which was already soaring.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Boys Only! at Laban

Boys Only! Workshop at Trinity Laban

The Royal Academy of Dance, in partnership with Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, present the “Boys Only!” workshop on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th December, for boys and young men between the ages of 8 and 18. Boys Only! provides the opportunity to demonstrate potential and to dance with and learn from male peers through quality teaching and insights into the dance profession.

This high energy two-day workshop will give male students across London the opportunity to combine classic ballet training, with energetic creative and contemporary workshops and stylish Street Dance, donning their dancewear and engaging in inspiring dance training, a unique way to discover and develop new talents dancing alongside and learning from leading dance artists. Philip Page, who currently teaches at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, will be leading the ballet class, Anton Streeks, who teaches on the Step into Dance programme, will lead the Street Dance class and Ross Carpenter, a Dance Practitioner at Trinity Laban, will lead the creative and contemporary class.

Boys Only! began in 2005 when the RAD raised £50,000 at a Billy Elliot -The Musical gala and launched the programme with the aim of widening participation in dance through open access events, specifically targeting young men with little or no dance experience, let alone a range of ballet shoes or practice uniforms. It is now a national programme working in collaboration with many regional partners, delivering ballet from fresh perspectives in conjunction with other dance styles.

Boys Only! courses are subsidised by the Boys Only! Fund which was established to provide opportunities for male students to access dance.

The Next Step Into Dance Courses

Step Into Dance LogoStep into Dance, the partnership between the Royal Academy of Dance and The Jack Petchey Foundation has revealed its next set of teacher training courses for budding teachers eager to build on their existing jazz pant range and step out in their urban dancewear. The Step into Dance programme is running a number of different courses, all of which are suitable for dance teachers, Special Educational Needs professionals, arts practitioners, support and youth workers and PE teachers.

The first, an Introduction to Inclusive Dance Practice, is a practical day full of ideas and advice for leading and assisting inclusive dance in school and community settings on Monday 7 January 2013 at the RAD Headquarters. A course of this type provides teachers with a wealth of dance knowledge, be they from ballet, tap or jazz shoe discipline.

Next up, an Inclusive Dance Course is four practical days full of ideas and advice for leading and assisting inclusive dance in school and community settings on numerous dates: 18 November will incorporate teaching technique and differentiation, 20 January 2013 for developing groups as young leaders, working with support staff and safe practice, 10 March 2013 for groups with specific needs and 16 June 2013 as an inclusive session with young people, developing the group as dance-makers.  The dates can be completed individually or as a block of four.

In addition to the above is a one day course entitled ‘Banish the fear! Unravelling the choreographic process’ on 18 November as a teacher training course to help teachers get to grips with choreography, top up their knowledge and gain fresh ideas for the year ahead in areas such as choosing music, choreographic tasks, developing structures and creating pieces. Another course available is ‘Street Dance – get your head around the styles’ as a one day intensive workshop that will take teachers through the world of street dance in breaking down common misconceptions, the history and context of each style, foundation techniques and future training opportunities.

Image courtesy of Step into Dance.

Celebrating Dance 2012 at the RAD

RAD Celebrating Dance 2012

Dance students will have the chance to participate in ‘Celebrating Dance 2012’, a day of dance to be held at the Royal Academy of Dance on 11 November to raise funds for the Frank Freeman Scholarship fund.

The day will consist of a masterclass led by Steven McRae who is a Principal of The Royal Ballet, providing a unique opportunity to experience Steven’s artistry and experience of dance, and the ballet shoe and tights shenanigans it entails. The masterclass is open to students studying RAD Advanced 2 or the equivalent, and teachers are also able to either observe or participate. The class will be followed by a Q&A session with Steven.

Running in addition to the masterclass is the London & Middlesex Senior Awards Day, a competition for 16-22 year olds who are currently studying or have passed RAD Advanced Foundation or above (or equivalent), performed in front of a live audience. Candidates will be judged on their performance in the class and variation by Lynn Wallis, the RAD’s Artistic Director and Gary Avis, Principal Character Artist and Ballet Master at The Royal Ballet. The winner will be awarded £150 and the runner-up £50, to be put towards RAD activities or materials.

Income from the Celebrating Dance 2012 event will support the Frank Freeman Scholarship, in memory of the RAD devotee, which will give the opportunity for one boy from the London & Middlesex region to be awarded a week’s free tuition on an RAD summer school in 2013. Frank Freeman was an international freelance teacher, choreographer and Vocational Grades Examiner for the RAD, in addition to being a member of the artistic sub-committee and board of trustees, and received a fellowship of the RAD in 2000. Entirely trained at The Royal Ballet School, Frank was also a member of The Royal Ballet and English National Ballet companies and a founder patron of The National Youth Ballet of Great Britain.

Find out more from the RAD website.

The Next Guest Speaker for RAD

Royal Academy of Dance Logo

After the success of the Royal Academy of Dance’s first Guest Speaker event with Christopher Hampson in April 2012, and the recent event in October with Kevin O’Hare, the RAD’s Faculty of Education has announced that Robert Parker, the Artistic Director of Elmhurst School for Dance, will be their next guest speaker on Sunday 18 November at Birmingham Royal Ballet. The RAD will be offering dance fans the chance to hear yet another leading dance figure’s journey and anecdotes by opening Birmingham Royal Ballet’s tutu adorned doors.

As a Principal dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet company, Parker donned his ballet shoes and tights and performed all of the classical lead roles, as well as performing in works by esteemed choreographers such as Twyla Tharp, Kim Brandstrup and David Bintley. He recently completed the Faculty of Education’s Professional Dancers’ Teaching Diploma at the RAD, adding yet another dance string to his ballet bow. As for the Elmhurst School for Dance, based in Edgbaston, Birmingham, the institution offers ballet training to 11 to 19 year olds, with close links with Birmingham Royal Ballet. Elmhurst is the oldest vocational dance school in the UK and its vision is to provide a world renowned centre of excellence for the training and education of classical ballet dancers for Birmingham Royal Ballet, and many other national and international dance companies.

Parker is set to discuss his training and career in dance with his audience for the Royal Academy of Dance, with the event free of charge to RAD Faculty of Education students, RAD members and RAD staff, but non-members are also welcome to reserve in advance. Attendance will cost £10 (including VAT) for non-members, with places allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Image courtesy of the Royal Academy of Dance.

The Genée International Ballet Competition

The Genée International Ballet Competition 2012The Genée International Ballet Competition, the prestigious competition of the Royal Academy of Dance, is fast approaching at the end of 2012. December will see many international applicants don their pointe shoes and ballet tights in order to take part in one of the most highly-thought of ballet competitions all over the world. Taking place in Wellington, New Zealand, tickets for the semi-finals and finals are fast selling out, with competitors preparing themselves for a week of masterclasses, coaching and finally, performing, ready to take the next steps in their ballet careers and present themselves in the most positive light.

Whilst behind-the-scenes organising is constantly going on for the 2012 competition, the RAD has just announced that the 2013 Genée International Ballet Competition will be held for the first time in Glasgow in September. The RAD will be working in partnership with Scottish Ballet, with its newly appointed Artistic Director Christopher Hampson, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to stage a very exciting competition, with the enthusiastic support of the City of Glasgow. With Glasgow hosting the competition, it will mean that the Genée will return to the shores of Great Britain for the first time in three years, and will be Scotland’s first Genée competition.

Scottish Ballet previously announced this exciting news and partnership at a press conference in late September, including the announcement of their new Artistic Director, a confirmation of their firm commitment to making the 2013 Genée a very special event full of leotards, practice shoes and tiaras, especially for the extravagant final. Hampson has already made an extensive and long-standing contribution to the Genée over the last nine years and is personally very enthusiastic about the collaboration.

To get some idea of what the Genée is all about, take a look at the following video: