Winner – congratulations Sarah!

Sarah Platt

Sarah grew up in the West Midlands and moved to London to attend the RAD Teacher Training College. A back injury caused an early exit, but the RAD’s part-time and distance learning training programmes enabled her to explore a wealth of other training opportunities. Sarah has been principal of her dance school for over 25 years, meeting a wonderful range of students, trainee teachers and indeed qualified teachers on their dance journey. She also teaches dance in primary school settings, and lately with the other end of the spectrum.

Sarah’s enjoyed an Inclusive Dance module for the Master of Teaching (Dance), followed by practice-based research for the Dance For Lifelong Wellbeing project. These classes included a well-received section of ballet, prompting Sarah to research delivering ballet specific classes to older learners. These beginnings were the initiation of Silver Swans, affording Sarah great opportunities to advocate the RAD.

Janet Gittens

Janet’s ballet education was enhanced by studies at The Benesh Institute, where she was taught by Rudolph and Joan Benesh, founders of the Institute. Her gift for teaching was recognised at the Institute by Melvina Young who was a great encouragement. She was awarded the RAD Teaching Diploma, and an Advanced Diploma in Benesh Movement Notation.

When Janet moved to Trinidad and Tobago she became the first person to introduce ballet and the RAD syllabus to the southern towns of Trinidad by preparing students for the RAD examinations.

Janet’s journey continued to Vancouver, Canada, where she inspires her students to embrace and appreciate classical ballet and achieve their goals by preparing them for RAD examinations. She also mentors for the RAD CBTS Teachers’ Programme, and prepares students for entrance into dance companies. Janet has positively transformed many lives as a teacher through her encouragement and motivation.

Claire Jane Pratt

Born in Edinburgh, the RAD has been an integral part of Claire’s life since she was a child. In 1981, she moved to Bari, Italy to start her career and in addition to entering candidates for the Grades and Vocational examinations, she has also worked with on the CBTS programme as a tutor, mentor and a PTS for Module 404.

Claire took part in the first examination session of the new Repertoire Syllabus trials and during her role as a Continuing Professional Development Ambassador, really enjoyed supporting the importance of the CPD Scheme with her colleagues.

She has always upheld the value that ‘dance is for everyone’ by encouraging inclusive dance for children with special needs and dance classes for adults. Claire is proud to be part of the RAD, and has always believed in its mission to promote dance education and training for students and teachers throughout the world.

Emily Tench

Emily teaches ballet at Joy of Dance Centre in Toronto, Canada. She has a passion for training adult students and teens who are new to ballet. Emily saw a desire for more serious training opportunities in her students, and in 2014 she founded Joy of Dance’s Adult RAD Ballet Program and Teen RAD Ballet Program. Providing access to RAD exam training in specialised adult classes and beginner teen classes was the goal. Her programs now offer Graded, Discovering Repertoire and Vocational level courses. Emily knows that through dedication it is possible to excel in ballet, and fulfil ballet dreams, at any age.

Emily’s RAD training began at McKay School of Dance in Trail, British Columbia, Canada, at the age of 10. She is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre (Canada), CODARTS: Rotterdams Dansacademie (Netherlands) and the RAD’s Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies program. Emily performed professionally as a modern dancer across Europe and Canada for 8 Years.