Birmingham Royal Ballet principal Iain Mackay becomes RAD Male Dance Ambassador
We are pleased to announce that Glasgow-born Iain Mackay is our inaugural Male Dance Ambassador. Iain, currently a principal at Birmingham Royal Ballet, aims to inspire and encourage boys and men of all ages to give ballet a try, build their core strength, burn off energy and, most of all, have fun and find out what their bodies are capable of.
To mark the start of his tenure as ambassador, Iain taught a special Boys Ballet Masterclass to boys aged 7+ at the Manor School of Ballet in Edinburgh on Sunday 13 March. With musical accompaniment from pianist Frances Rive, Iain led young dancers through a range of ballet exercises tailored to their interests in dance, super heroes and cartoon characters.
Iain said, “I’m thrilled to join the RAD in this new ambassador role. I started ballet at age 7 in Lennoxtown near Glasgow and immediately fell in love with it. Ballet really is for everyone. Depending on their age, super heroes, video game characters and sporting stars are what excite and motivate boys so it’s important to tap into that and get them burning off lots of energy.”
Iain, who trained as a Junior Associate of Scottish Ballet before joining the Dance School of Scotland, will support the RAD’s ongoing work in promoting ballet for boys and men through offering male syllabi and classes for all ages. As well as being one of the UK’s foremost male ballet leads, Iain is passionate about promoting the benefits of ballet to men and has recently trained rugby players to improve their strength through ballet techniques.
We are also pleased to announce that we have surpassed our 2015 ambition to sign up 1,000 boys to our masterclass events, with currently 1,046 boys being taught.
The Herald Scotland also reported the news: Meet the Scottish ballet star inspiring a new generation of Billy Elliots.
The RAD is working on a range of additional opportunities for boys and young men to engage in dance, which will be added throughout 2016. Opportunities currently available for booking are:
- Boys Ballet Masterclass – London, 17 April
- Boys Only! – Eastleigh, 25-26 June
- Boys Day of Dance – Hinckley, 6 November
We are also planning an additional Boys Ballet Masterclass in Edinburgh in October, as well as activities in other parts of the UK. Please check www.rad.org.uk/maledance in due course.
Photos: Mark Mainz/Royal Academy of Dance. Iain Mackay teaches a Boys Ballet Masterclass.