8 April 2024 - 12 April 2024

Introduction to Benesh Movement Notation | Silver Swans Easter Course (London)

Join us as part of our Silver Swans Easter Course for an introduction to Benesh Movement Notation.

The Fonteyn 2023 © Royal Academy of Dance. Photo by Martin Bell Photography

Benesh Movement Notation, also known as choreology, is the literacy of body language. It is a movement notation system used to document dance and other types of human movement.

For centuries, dance was the sole major art form without any means to record the steps performed. How were the steps written down, let alone reproduced? Choreographers and dancers had to depend upon their own memories to reconstruct the ballets of the past. Joan and Rudolf Benesh, the creators and developers of Benesh Movement Notation, hoped that the invention of an accurate and easily learnt notation system, as applicable to folk and modern dance as it is to ballet, would prove to be as great an instrument for the development and preservation of dance composition as the music score was to music.

The Benesh Institute was founded in 1962, and was incorporated into the RAD in 1997. The Institute was rebranded in 2018 as Benesh International and remains a department within the RAD, with its own members and Benesh-specific training courses.

We are running 5 sessions across the week, so you can select the one that works best for you!

Key Information

Age Fee Closing Date
Suggested age 55+ Pay What You Can 31 March 2024 12:00pm

Who can attend?

Recommended for those aged 55+. Please note, you do not need to be participating in the wider Easter Course to be able to attend these sessions, these sessions are open to all Silver Swans and older learners with an interest in dance.

There are four different sessions to choose from across the week:

Monday 8 April: 12.45 – 1.45 pm with James Groom

Tuesday 9 April: 12.45 – 1.45 pm with James Groom

Wednesday 10 April: 12.45 – 1.45 pm with James Groom

Friday 12 April: 12.45 – 1.45 pm with Darren Parish


Royal Academy of Dance
188 York Road
SW11 3JZ


The RAD is committed to widening access and participation in Dance, and are delighted to offer this workshop for free in line with The Pay What You Can model.

Audiences can choose to make a donation or select a free ticket. The Pay What You Can model offers people who can afford to pay the recommended price or more the chance to support others who can’t.

As an independent educational charity who doe not receive regular government funding, every penny we make goes back into the work we do. Through our cultural engagement plan we are increasing our work in communities through growing our outreach and wellbeing initiatives.


  • 12.45 – 1.45pm


James Groom
James is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dance and has worked in the dance education industry for six years. He has trained and worked alongside leading professionals in dance education, and is a working member of two teaching bodies (RAD and NATD).

James graduated from Benesh International’s Professional Award course in 2022 and is a lecturer in Benesh Movement Notation on the BABE course at the RAD. He is currently studying for his MA in Education at the University of Reading.

Darren Parish
Darren was a professional dancer for twenty years. He is a ballet teacher who has taught for the RAD, working with young children, vocational students and professional dancers, for more than two decades. He completed his ballet teacher training at the RAD and completed his Diploma as a professional choreologist in 2005. He was also a Board Member of the RAD until 2022.

Darren continues to work as a freelancer at the Royal Opera House, staging works by Wayne McGregor as well as classics such as The Sleeping Beauty. Darren was also Ballet Master and Notator at Australian Ballet. He previously staged works by Sir Frederick Ashton for The Royal Ballet School and English National Ballet School, and taught the ‘Introduction to Benesh Notation’ modules for the Professional Dancer’s Teaching Diploma/Certificate at the RAD.

More recently, Darren has taught private workshops for schools and introduced Benesh Movement Notation workshops to the National Theatre School in Australia, with plans to do the same in Mumbai later this year.

You may also be interested in...

15 Jul - 20 Jul '24
Courses / London headquarters / Silver Swans / Student Activities / Summer School

Silver Swans Summer School 2024 SOLD OUT

Find out more
15 Jul - 19 Jul '24
Courses / London headquarters / Student Activities / Summer School

Adult Ballet and Pilates Summer Course 2024 (London)

5 evenings
£62 - £91 (Varies according to level and classes selected).
Find out more
20 Jul '24
Courses / London headquarters / Student Activities / Summer School / Workshop

Coppélia Adult Repertoire Workshop (London)

2.5 hours
Find out more

Booking process

  • Places are limited in each class and secured on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • An automatic email will be sent via the booking platform Cvent to confirm your registration and payment were successful. Please note, the timings and dates displayed on this page supersedes the information provided on Cvent.
  • Please quote the Cvent order no/ticket reference when contacting the RAD with any queries related to your booking.
  • Please ensure you have read the Terms and Conditions, which includes the RAD’s cancellation policy.
  • When a class is fully-booked, a waiting list will be activated. The Learning and Participation Team will contact you via email should a suitable place become available.
  • After the closing date, you will receive an additional confirmation by email, detailing registration times, suggested dress, and all other relevant information for the course and venue.
  • For all queries, please email participate@rad.org.uk.


Please complete the registration form in Cvent by clicking the ‘book now’ button and ensure you check the ticket details carefully. If the ticket you wish to book appears sold out, please apply online for the free Waiting List Ticket.

The RAD uses Cvent for ticketing and registration for events (including workshops, masterclasses, CPD, and a range of free activities). See our terms and conditions.

We only store your personal information to register and facilitate your attendance and to request feedback. We will not use your information to contact you unless you have opted to receive marketing materials, or have signed up for our e-newsletter. For further details on how your information is processed, please see the Student Activities Privacy Notice.

Please note: in the event of injury or medical emergency during the activity a qualified First Aider from Royal Academy of Dance will provide necessary treatment and assistance to the participant. Please see our Terms & Conditions for further information on this.

Travel Guide

Useful information for planning your journey.
Travelling to the RAD headquarters