The RAD brand

Over the last 100 years, the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) has had different names and visual identities. Since 1937 however, the RAD has had a royal charter and a bespoke coat of arms, which was one of our earliest brand assets.

Deconstructing the coat of arms

Today, the coat of arms is likely to be considered as a mark of quality by most people, but every element of the arms has meaning and significance, deeply rooted in who we are.

  • Crest: The figure on the arms is Terpsichore (pronounced ‘turp-si-kuh-ree’), the Greek muse of dancing, traditionally inspires creation of the arts, a literal and visual representation of our mission to ‘inspire the world to dance’.
  • Arms: The pentagram within the shield symbolises health and the wavy lines convey movement. Science supports the connection between movement, being active and health but this also represents a flourishing organisation that is continually moving forwards.
  • Supporters: On either side of the shield is a doe with wings, symbolic of lightness and grace. Today, the significance of this goes beyond the physical and embodies the lightness of mind and spirit that dance can facilitate.
  • Motto: The motto, ‘Salus et Felicitas’ means ‘Health and Happiness’.  A motto that embodies our belief in the transformational power that dance can play in all of our lives. Indeed, the translation of our motto has never had more resonance.

We worked on the rebrand with Wolfe Hall; Jason Wolfe and Luke Hall, who each spent a day in the RAD’s library and archive to understand our history and heritage before they began the design process.

Of the final visual identity, Wolfe Hall assert that, “We hope that it recognises what has come before whilst carrying the RAD forward. The coat of arms was a particular inspiration with movement and dance in every element; we wanted to retain the elegance of Terpsichore in the typeface, whilst health and happiness is such a contemporary message permeating through the RAD’s work.”

Dance yourself happy

There is good reason that “Dance like no-one is watching”, is an expression of meaning to let yourself go, be free and to live in the moment. Dance is one of the most freeing forms of creativity and self-expression and creative, but why?

Peter Lovatt – otherwise known as ‘Dr Dance’ – is a dance psychologist, author and former dancer. He is deeply passionate about the positive benefits of dance.

Five steps to happiness

Dr Lovatt recommends at least 10 minutes of mood-boosting dancing every day. Follow these five steps to happiness:

  1. Sound: Find a piece of music that you love.
  2. Stand: Find enough space to swing your arms, wherever you are.
  3. Shake: Give your body a good shake and wiggle everything.
  4. Synchronise: Sync your wiggles to the music, or with other people.
  5. Smile: Relax, feel the groove and wave goodbye to the blues.

“Movement was the real catalyst for change…”

Sarah Aspinall left her successful corporate career in law to become an RAD teacher in order to improve her mental health and wellbeing. 

Growing up I was a painfully shy child and it showed itself in so many ways. Dance became a huge part of my life. I never felt shy when I was dancing.

I had an amazing teacher who was a kind (but strict) lady, fully invested in her student’s experience and progress in ballet and made each and every lesson an absolute joy.

But I found the move into high school, and all the associated pressures of school, anxiety inducing. I gained a scholarship at the age of 14 to ballet school, but didn’t go because my parents wanted me to follow a more traditional career path.

By the time I reached sixth form, I had a plan in my mind. I decided to reinvent myself. I set myself a mission to move towards fear rather than hide, or run away from it. I went to university and I got enticed by the bright lights of the big city of London and the law firms. And that’s where I moved.

But in journeying to the city, I started to let the things I loved fall away. I didn’t have time to think about my wellbeing and stopped dancing altogether. Around that time I also lost my dad…

Read more on how Sarah overcame her anxieties through dance.

The psychology of colour

From a brand perspective, the use of colour is significant because it makes a striking first impression, often designed to evoke an emotional reaction or association. Perceptions of colour are subjective, however some colours are infused with widely recognised meaning, although colours can also have different meanings in different cultures.

In our own brand research, red, the RAD’s primary brand colour was associated with prestige (red carpets) and performance, (red velvet stage curtains); but it is also a bold colour associated with passion. We were keen to retain those associations and so we chose a new, more vibrant and contemporary red.

We are also introducing a secondary colour palette: Blue, Purple and Teal to help bring our brand to life and to add colour to our mission and vision.

Which colour most represents you?

As the RAD unveils its new brand identity, we thought we could have some colour-inspired fun. As with people, organisation’s have personalities – a set of defining characteristics. So which Royal Academy of Dance colour are you?

Take our quiz to find out what your brand colour would be.

Proud to be RAD

What makes you #ProudToBeRAD? We want you to show us and tell us on social media. Tag us in your videos and photos and use the hashtag for the chance to be featured on our channels!