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 7: Ralph Heimans

Broadcast: Thursday 11 November

For the final episode of Series 2 we meet portrait artist Ralph Heimans as the RAD prepares to celebrate a landmark in its 100-year history- a move to a new purpose-built headquarters- with a brand new portrait competition. The competition will invite artists of all abilities to create a portrait of world-famous ballerina and founding President of the RAD Dame Adeline Genée. Ralph sits on the judging panel of this competition and will be responsible for selecting the new commission, which will hang pride of place for all to enjoy in the new building when it formally opens in 2022.

Known for high-profile commissions of royalty, how would Ralph approach the portrait of a dancer? And what’s the point of portraiture in this selfie-ridden age? Join us for this portrait of the artist.

Find out more abour Ralph Heimans below.

Series 2

Fonteyn special: Ashley Page

Broadcast date: 8 September This one-off special episode of Why Dance Matters marks the final of The Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition, the RAD's flagship…
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Episode 1: James Whiteside

Broadcast date: 30 September 2021 James Whiteside is not only a principal at American Ballet Theatre, dancing all iconic classical princes as well as ambitious…
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Episode 2: Yami ‘Rowdy’ Löfvenberg

Broadcast date: 7 October 2021 Yami ‘Rowdy' Löfvenberg. Photo by Robert Alleyne. The hip-hop choreographer, dancer and teacher Yami Löfvenberg is also known as ‘Rowdy'.…
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Episode 3: Gerard Charles

Broadcast date: 14 October 2021 Gerard Charles arrived at the Royal Academy of Dance as its new Artistic Director in 2018, having been in leadership…
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Episode 4: Libby Clegg MBE

Broadcast date: 21 October 2021 Libby Clegg loved dance and ballet when she was little, but became a multi-medal-winning Paralympic athlete. She won five medals…
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Episode 5: Leanne Benjamin

Broadcast date: 28 October 2021 Australian ballerina Leanne Benjamin is a self-declared perfectionist – difficult in ballet, where the perfect performance is a tantalising impossibility.…
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Episode 6: Hannah Martin

Broadcast date: 4 November 2021 At just 19, Hannah Martin has already achieved remarkable things. In September 2021, the young ballet dancer won a medal…
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Episode 7: Ralph Heimans

Broadcast: Thursday 11 November This week we meet portrait artist Ralph Heimans as the RAD prepares to celebrate a landmark in its 100-year history- a…
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Series 1

Episode 1: Xander Parish

Broadcast date: 19 May 2021. Xander Parish tells a story of snatching triumph from the jaws of frustration. After a great start – winning a…
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Episode 2: Gurinder Chadha

Broadcast date: 26 May 2021 Gurinder Chadha doesn't make dance films or musicals – but with the slightest nudge, films like Bend It Like Beckham, Bride and…
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Episode 3: Cathy Marston

Broadcast date: 2 June 2021. The choreographer Cathy Marston has a rare gift for telling stories in dance. Now a major player in leading ballet…
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Episode 4: Victoria Treviño

Broadcast date: 9 June 2021 Dance, and especially ballet, can sometimes seem remote from people's lives. How do you bolt it into the heart of…
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Episode 5: Phil Chan

Broadcast date: 16 June 2021 Phil Chan is a dancer, arts advocate and activist born in Hong Kong and now based in New York. With…
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Episode 6: Dr Guddi Singh

Broadcast date: 23 June 2021 Dance touches lives beyond performers, so the guests on Why Dance Matters aren't only professional dancers. Guddi Singh is a…
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Episode 7: Céline Gittens

Broadcast date: 30 June 2021 Céline Gittens first made her name as a teenager, winning both a gold medal and the Audience Choice Award at…
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Episode 8: Luke Rittner

Broadcast date: 7 July 2021 Even for non-dancers, dance gets to the heart of things that matter to them the most. This week, for the…
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