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Celebrating 100 years since the first RAD Exams

The RAD’s first teaching examination took place from May 8 – 10, 1921 at Madame Cormani’s studio, close to Goodge Street station in London, UK.

Our founders, Dame Adeline Genée, Tamara Karsavina, Lucia Cormani, and Phyllis Bedells were the examiners and Edouard Espinosa had set the work to be examined. The criteria was simple: there was no pointe work, and elevation was limited to changements, soubresauts and sissones.

From such small beginnings, today nearly a quarter of a million candidates across the globe choose to take their dance exams with us every year.

Join us in celebrating 100 years since the first RAD exam took place.

See a full timeline of RAD’s history.

“Never take your shoes off at the lunch interval…”

A collection of accounts providing an insight into what life was like when RAD exams were introduced around the world as well as highlighting how much times (and attitudes!) have changed.
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RAD Voices - June Christian

Former Examiner, June Christian, describes the evolution of RAD exams, from syllabus and reports, to travel and dress code.
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Exams around the world

Uniform evolution

RAD exam uniform has changed a lot over the years. We’ve delved into the Philip Richardson Library archives to see how.

Discovering Repertoire

Jennifer Back celebrates 40 years of teaching and returns to being a student

In 2018 when the RAD launched Discovering Repertoire, Jenny leaped at the chance to be a teacher on the pilot programme, teaching Discovering Repertoire to her students but also learning herself.  She and her students successfully completed Levels 2 and 3 (there is no level 1) in 2018 and 2019 and were excited to continue in 2020 with the final Level 4. Unfortunately, the global COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruption to their studies and the students decided to focus all their efforts on working towards their RAD Advanced 2 examination instead. Undeterred, Jenny decided to take on the challenge of Level 4 alone. This is her story.

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The bell

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COVID-19 latest information

Guidance for students, examiners, tutors and teachers, with updates on how our services may be affected.
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Latest news

7 May '21
Conferences / Faculty of Education
7 May '21

Mapping Dance and Dance Teaching: Past(s), Present and Future(s) Conference programme announced

Mapping Dance and Dance Teaching: Past(s), Present and Future(s) Conference Programme Announced Hosted by the Royal Academy of Dance's Faculty of Education, the international online…
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29 Apr '21
Dance news / RAD news / Silver Swans
29 Apr '21

A look at the benefits of ballet for our bones on International Dance Day

This International Dance Day, we have teamed up with the Royal Osteoporosis Society to look at how Silver Swans classes, and dancing in general, can…
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28 Apr '21
Awards / Dance news / RAD news
28 Apr '21

David McAllister AM awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award by the Royal Academy of Dance

The Royal Academy of Dance today announced it has awarded its highest honour, the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award, to David McAllister AM. David, immediate…
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9 Apr '21
RAD news
9 Apr '21

His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh

The Royal Academy of Dance is deeply saddened to learn of the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.  We send…
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2 Apr '21
RAD news
2 Apr '21

Royal Academy of Dance receives further Culture Recovery Fund grant

The RAD has announced today that it is to receive a further £303,000 from the second round of the Government's Culture Recovery Fund, to help…
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1 Apr '21
RAD news
1 Apr '21

A year of dancing at home

The last 12 months have been a challenge for everyone. Here at the RAD we challenged ourselves to support our members and wider dance community…
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