Celebrating the Royal Academy of Dance at 100

The RAD has been inspiring the world to dance for almost a century, and on 31 December 2020 will officially turn 100.

To celebrate this landmark in our history, we are planning a year-long programme of events and initiatives throughout 2020, leading up to that moment and focused on sharing our past, our present and our future with our global dance community.

For the first time we are unveiling highlights of the exciting year ahead and the one message that we want you to take away is that we want everyone, young and old to get involved in the celebrations.

The Genée is renamed the Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition

In what would have been the 100th birthday year of Dame Margot Fonteyn, the Genée is being renamed in honour of our longest-serving president and world famous Prima Ballerina Assoluta. From 2020, the Genée International Ballet Competition will become the Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition. Also, for the first time the centenary competition will be held at the Royal Opera House, in London’s Covent Garden, where Fonteyn herself performed many times. The semi-finals take place on 2 and 3 September at the Linbury Theatre, with the final on 5 September, on the main stage of the Opera House.

Our current President, Dame Darcey Bussell, will be chair of the international jury for the 2020 competition.

A commemorative book

We are publishing a new book, Royal Academy of Dance: Celebrating 100 Years. This commemorative volume, released in December 2019, charts the history of the RAD, providing an overview of the Academy’s accomplishments up until the present, along with a sense of its plans for the future. Containing stunning archival and contemporary photographs, this is a fabulous celebration of exams, training, events and competitions, and the many personalities associated with the RAD over the years.

Royal Academy of Dance: Celebrating 100 Years

Pre-order online at RAD Enterprises by 31 July to get your 25% discount.
Buy now

V&A exhibition

We are teaming up with the Victoria and Albert Museum for an exhibition at the museum in South Kensington, London. Running from May 2020 to February 2021, the RAD exhibit will be staged in the Theatre and Performance galleries.

The display will celebrate 100 years of the RAD’s significant contribution to the development of British ballet, its shift towards a more international role (including Nureyev’s arrival in Britain and his partnership with RAD President, Dame Margot Fonteyn,) and its ongoing impact on dance and dance education today. There will be a host of wraparound events, workshops, performances, guided tours and talks to enjoy.

The display will be free to attend and all are welcome to plan a visit in the new year.

Benesh International Congress

Benesh International will be hosting the 2020 Benesh Congress in London from 22-24 May.

The congress takes place every four years and is a rare opportunity for Benesh professionals, students and interested parties from all over the world to connect and discuss the latest developments within the Benesh community. A vibrant and varied schedule is planned, combining lectures, workshops and carousel sessions, as well as time to meet and network with the global Benesh community. It will be a unique occasion to reflect on the rich history of Benesh and debate exciting future plans.

A call for contributions has been issued and tickets to attend are available to purchase. Click here for more information. The closing date is 16 September 2019.

Book your place now!

Mapping Dance and Dance Teaching: past, present and future

In January 2020, Australia will kick-start the celebrations with a conference, Shaping Bodies, Shaping Minds in Melbourne. The conference will feature both Australian and international perspectives on innovations, provocations and insights into the role of dance education, training and interdisciplinary engagement in the shaping of bodies and minds to meet a diverse, and often challenging dance landscape. A call for contributions has been issued and the closing date is 30 June 2019.

Then, prior to the final of the 2020 Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition, the Faculty of Education will host a conference on 4 and 5 September 2020 in London. Aimed at dance teachers, practitioners, researchers and educators in the arts, humanities and social sciences, the conference will focus on how histories and practices of dance and dance teaching from the past have, and will, inform current and future knowledge, understanding and practices. A call for contributions and booking information will be announced later this year.

Between the lines: The Art of Choreology

Booking has now opened for the Benesh Congress 2020. Book your place and find out how to submit a contribution.

Examiners’ Seminar

The Examiners’ Seminar in 2020 will return to the Park Inn Hotel, London Heathrow and has been organised from 6-10 September 2020 to dovetail with the inaugural Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition. The seminar will be led by Chief Examiner, Jennifer Hale, and Panel of Examiners Consultant, Paula Hunt. Whilst there will be moments of reflection and celebration of examining over the years, the worldwide panel of almost 230 examiners will have an opportunity to look ahead to their future work.

Dance is in our DNA

2020 will see a series of thematic videos released showcasing the diverse work of the Academy and its membership around the world. Video content will be crowd-sourced from the RAD’s global dance community: from RAD teachers, students and examiners to exam candidates and Silver Swans, showing the impact of dance and what it means to so many people. RAD members should login for details on how to get involved. Everyone else should look out for details in the coming months.

100 Events in 100 Places

Never short on ambition, we’re calling on the RAD community to host 100 events in 100 places around the world. Each national office will plan its own events to raise our profile internationally and to find new ways of engaging with different audiences. We’ll be producing a ‘What’s On in 2020?’ calendar featuring selected highlights.

Dance Gazette guest editors

Throughout 2020, three guest editors will take the helm of Dance Gazette, and will be invited to present the RAD and its work through the lens of another industry, providing an alternative perspective. We also hope that this will widen the reach and readership of the magazine, enabling us to forge new and lasting partnerships and collaborations. We’ll be revealing our exciting line-up of guest editors nearer the time.

New headquarters

Our new home in Battersea will be completed in 2020, marking an exciting new chapter in the RAD’s future as a world class leader in dance education and training. The new building will boast seven full-sized dance studios with sprung floors and high specification sound equipment, a performance theatre and an enhanced library and archive, plus a new retail space and large café for members and visitors.

100th birthday gala dinner

In what promises to be a grand affair, we are also in the planning stages for a special gala dinner. The evening will both celebrate 100 years of the RAD and act as a memorable fundraiser for future projects. Date and details will be confirmed in due course.

Partners and suppliers

We are proud to be supported by our partners and suppliers in our Centenary year



Join us

To find out more about the benefits of sponsorship, please contact Matthew Cunningham, Director of Fundraising and Development, by email at mcunningham@rad.org.uk or by telephone +44 (20) 7326 8957.