10 mighty women who shaped the RAD
A brief look at just some of the hugely influential women from the history of the RAD.
Dame Adeline Genée
The famously enchanting Danish ballerina was co-founder and first President of the RAD. She gave her name to the Academy’s flagship competition, first held in 1931.
Diaghilev’s star ballerina – famously, she was the first Firebird – was a founder of the RAD. The Russian dancer also devised a landmark syllabus for the Academy.
A co-founder of the RAD in 1920, for whom its longstanding bursary competition is named. Born in Bristol, she was the first British prima ballerina of the Empire Ballet.
Dame Margot Fonteyn
The matchless ballerina – beloved across the world – was RAD President from 1954–91.
Dame Ninette de Valois
No one did more than the Irish-born director to establish British ballet, founding what became the Royal Ballet. She was the first recipient of the RAD’s prestigious QEII Award.
An early member of the Royal Ballet, she became Assistant Director and then Director of the RAD, retiring in 1989.
Dame Antoinette Sibley
The British ballerina who created iconic roles like Manon and Titania was RAD President from 1991–2012.
Professor Joan White
The Academy’s first Director of Education and creator of the Faculty of Education, she pioneered the RAD’s world-class standing in teacher training.
As the RAD’s former Artistic Director, she led a transforming renewal of the syllabi and an expansion of the Genée to include original work.
Dame Darcey Bussell
A star of the Royal Ballet and former judge of Strictly Come Dancing, the British ballerina has been President of the RAD since 2012.
This list was first published in the June 2018 edition of Dance Gazette.