Meet Our Male Dance Ambassador
In 2017, Iain Mackay – former Principal Dancer at Birmingham Royal Ballet – took up a role as inaugural Male Dance Ambassador for the RAD’s work in this area.
Glasgow-born Iain Mackay, who trained as a Junior Associate of Scottish Ballet before joining the Dance School of Scotland, supports the RAD’s ongoing work in promoting ballet – and dance more generally – for boys and men.
In his capacity as Male Dance Ambassador for RAD, Iain debuted choreography to engage boys and men of all ages and abilities with dance. This draws on his experience as a dancer, a teacher, and as a father.
"The inspiration for my choreography comes from all the boys I’ve had a fantastic time teaching since I started delivering Boys Only! workshops with the RAD over five years ago. Every step has been picked up from what the boys wanted to add into the creative part of the classes; movements they thought were cool and that I believed could transfer through to classical ballet movements. From the Usain Bolt and Transformer pose to the Ronaldo jump (which is basically an assemblé), and the ever-popular Dab."Iain Mackay
“I quickly realised that if you ask an eight-year-old boy new to ballet to stand like Carlos Acosta (my greatest dance hero) they will stare at you with a glazed look, ask them to stand like the Transformer Optimus Prime and they will know exactly what to do. And the result is the same, a strong, well held upper body, grace and strength in abundance; what every male dancer represents.
“I’ve looked at ways of bringing what young boys interested in ballet can take from their interests outside of the studio, such as what they share with their friends on the playground, and use it to give them confidence and a common language. This inspires them to develop inside the parameters of a ballet class. Whether that be developing and relating their favourite footballer’s elaborate goal celebration, jumping and posing like superheroes, spinning across the room like Angry Birds, or creating patterns and shapes like building blocks in Minecraft. I hope the choreography I have created will motivate and excite aspiring male dancers to get involved and enjoy the athleticism and physicality that ballet holds.”