Why Dance Matters

In its podcast series, the Royal Academy of Dance asks remarkable people from the world of dance and beyond and all corners of the globe, why dance matters.

Why Dance Matters is a series of conversations with extraordinary people from the world of dance and beyond. It traces the impact of dance on their lives and asks why dance matters to them – and why it might matter to us all. The RAD inspires the world to dance, and we hope these insightful personal conversations – hosted by David Jays, editor of Dance Gazette, the RAD magazine – will delight and even surprise.

Ways to listen

Find our podcast on all the platforms listed here. Or, you can also listen by selecting an episode below.

Episode 4: Michael Wamaya

Broadcast on 18 July 2024

We often talk about how dance changes lives on Why Dance Matters. No one exemplifies that more than the remarkable RAD dance teacher Michael Wamaya. He works with Project Elimu in Kibera, Kenya. Kibera faces many challenges – extreme poverty, and intense lack of resources. But Mike offers children and young people the chance to engage in artistic activity and dance and to think too about sexual and reproductive health. It’s an immensely ambitious programme, which attracts great acclaim. But why is RAD ballet part of the mix? And why does dance matter to him?

Download the transcript.

Series 9

Episode 1: Misty Copeland

Broadcast on 27 June 2024 Nine years ago this month, Misty Copeland became the first ever Black American woman to be promoted to principal at…
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Episode 2: Crazy Smooth

Broadcast on 4 July 2024 Our guest today is the Canadian hip hop dancer and choreographer professionally known as Crazy Smooth. We ask how Crazy…
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Episode 3: Britt Tajet-Foxell

Broadcast on 11 July 2024 Did you know the Royal Ballet had a performance psychologist? Britt Tajet-Foxell was a pioneer in the discipline, which is…
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Episode 4: Michael Wamaya

Broadcast on 18 July 2024 We often talk about how dance changes lives on Why Dance Matters. No one exemplifies that more than the remarkable…
Read more

Previous series

Series 1

May – July 2021. Interviews include Xander Parish, Cathy Marston, Phil Chan and Céline Gittens.
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Series 2

September – November 2021. Interviews include James Whiteside, Leanne Benjamin, Libby Clegg and Ralph Heimans.
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Series 3

February – April 2022. Interviews include Carlos Acosta, Joyce DiDonato, Hofesh Shechter and Harper Waters.
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Series 4

October – November 2022. Interviews include Akram Khan, Dame Monica Mason, Charlotte Edmonds, and Jay Jay Revlon.
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Series 5

February – April 2023. Interviews include Tiler Peck, Tim Arthur, Raphael Ng, Ana Maria Campos, Francesca Harper, Giles Terera, and Dame Arlene Phillips.
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Series 6

July – August 2023. Interviews include David Hallberg, Merritt Moore, Wayne McGregor, Alice Oseman, Mitchell Rayner, Endalyn T. Outlaw, and Jennifer White.
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Series 7

November – December 2023. Interviews include Drew McOnie, Jakob Wheway Hughes, Pam Tanowitz, Aaron S. Watkin, Benjamin Zephaniah, Nina Wadia, and Olga Smirnova.
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Series 8

February – April 2024. Interviews include Wesley Ruzibiza, Naomi Smart, Patrick Makuakane, Rebecca Yates, Olivia Lume, and a special episode featuring Carlos Acosta, Dame Monica…
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Take a seat

To celebrate the first anniversary of the opening of our global headquarters, we are releasing more £1,000 seats in the Aud Jebsen Studio Theatre for you to name after your dance school, an inspirational teacher, or a loved one.
Find out more