Conferences, Guest Lecture Series, and Events

Our conferences showcase our interest in bringing together a collection of leading voices in the field of dance and dance education. Through our Guest Lecture Series, we bring together a diverse set of voices and perspectives on dance as well as celebrate our global connections.


The Faculty of Education celebrates the diversity of perspectives on dance and our conferences showcase our interest in bringing together a collection of leading voices in the field of dance and dance education.

Past conferences

Mapping Dance and Dance Teaching: past(s), present and future(s)

3+4 September 2021, London, UK

This online conference focused on how histories and practices of dance and dance teaching from the past have and informed current and future knowledge, understanding and practices.

Shaping Bodies, Shaping Minds

17-19 January 2020, Melbourne, Australia

One in a series of events in the Royal Academy of Dance’s centenary year, Shaping Bodies, Shaping Minds brought together performers, teachers, practitioners and scholars from the fields of dance, education, history, science and cultural engagement for an exciting and thought-provoking programme.

Unravelling Repertoire: Histories, Pedagogies and Practices

20 & 21 January 2018, Brisbane, Australia

The RAD is committed to leading and innovating dance teacher education and training, particularly as it nears its Centenary anniversary in 2020. Unravelling Repertoire: Histories, Pedagogies and Practices, explored the role and value of dance repertoire. In today’s eclectic dance ecology, how does repertory work from past and current times inform our understanding of dance? How do different stakeholders engage with the concept of ‘repertoire’ in order to shape the way we learn and teach dance, and ensure that dance heritage is sustained?

The conference addressed:

  • The role of repertoire in various educational, professional, historical and cultural context including Higher Educational, professional and pre-professional, recreational and research settings.
  • Repertoire as resources for research as embodied practices in pedagogies for dance, education and training.
  • Current and past local models of repertoire practices in pedagogies for dance, education and training.
  • Exploration of technologies for the management of learning and teaching of dance repertoire.
  • Understanding the value of restaging, revising and reconceptualising repertory works as sources of histories, practices and pedagogies.
  • The role of repetiteurs, notators, dance foundations and organisations to support and facilitate the sustaining of dance heritage.
  • Repertoire as currency for local and global practices in established and emerging dance forms including ballet, contemporary dance, tap cultural dance, Indigenous dance, Broadway and musicals, popular dance forms such as street dance, social and folk dance, site specific or environmental work.
  • Approaches for inclusive pedagogies in dance teaching including dance for older participants, young adults and children.

Dance Teaching for the 21st Century: Practice and Innovation, 10 & 11 December 2016 – Sydney (Australia)

To coincide with the Genée Competition in Sydney, RAD Australia hosted an international conference on practices and innovations in dance teaching for the 21st century. The conference aimed to bring together dance teachers, educators, researchers, historians and scholars from across a variety of dance disciplines to discuss practices and innovations within the context of dance teaching in this century.

The conference addressed:

  • current local and international dance trends and practices in pedagogies for dance,
    education and training
  • the role of past models of dance teacher training and education in current day practice
  • the impact of innovation and technologies on the learning and teaching of dance
  • understanding the influence of dance heritage in today’s rapidly evolving dance ecology
  • approaches for embedding safe dance practice in dance teacher training and education
  • the role of other forms of training to support dancer and dance teacher education, and
  • global perspectives on the role of dance competitions in the training and education of children, adolescents and young adults

Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing Conference, 26 – 28 April 2013 – Headquarters in London

Conference Info and online video – Gillian Lynne and Kenneth Tharp and Robert Cohan
Our weekend conference was a celebration of life, dance and health and an exciting, enthusiastic and endlessly productive meeting of minds. Robert Cohan and Gillian Lynne (Keynote speakers) demonstrated just why they are admired and respected in the dance world – consummate professionals, infinitely creative individuals and enlightened human beings. The discussion panels proved to be another highlight of the weekend, bringing together professionals from dance, education, sociology, health and fitness and community arts. The discussions provided endless food for thought on the three key themes of the conference: the health and wellbeing of professional dancers, the enrichment of young lives through dance, and dance for older learners. The RAD’s current outreach work was also represented with a panel on Step into Dance, RADiate, the Faculty of Education project with older learners and the RAD’s Continuing Professional Development scheme.

A dedicated Sunday audience listened to Gary Avis, Principal Character Artist and Ballet Master for the Royal Ballet, contemplate his career transitions with Faculty of Education Lecturer Dennie Wilson, whilst fellow colleagues shared their research on teaching dance anatomy (Janine Streuli) and adult ballet practice (Rosie Gerhard). Continuing the theme, Jennifer Jackson shared her work in ballet for mature performers, whilst Holly Price, showed how the experienced ballet teacher can provide an environment for children’s social education.

A ‘performance showcase’ included the Company of Elders, Growing Older (Dis)gracefully, Step into Dance, and students from Elmhurst School for Dance.

Continuity & Change in Dance Teacher Education Conference, Saturday 24 October 2009 – Headquarters in London

Digital dance exhibitions

Video clips from event

  • Prof Joan White
  • Rachel Cameron

Dance teacher education and training has been at the heart of the Royal Academy of Dance’s mission to uphold the standards in the teaching of dance since the launch of the first Teacher Training Course in 1946.

Ten years ago, the Royal Academy of Dance set up the Faculty of Education to build on this legacy and attain new heights in dance teacher education. From its inception in 1999, the Faculty of Education has developed on-site and distance learning degree programmes, upgraded the certificate and licentiate programmes and introduced postgraduate programmes including the Postgraduate Certificate in Dance Teaching, PGCE: DT and the first Masters programme in Teaching (Dance).

To celebrate our 10th Anniversary and achievements to date, we hosted a Conference, Exhibition and a Reception. The event focussed on the histories and legacies of teacher education and training at the RAD, providing an opportunity to reflect on past and present practices as well as speculating on the future of teacher education and training in the 21st Century. Professor David Carr (University of Edinburgh, Moray House School of Education) led the series of paper presentations and lecture demonstrations with his keynote speech.

Guest lectures

These events take place at our headquarters in London and have included artistic directors, professors and senior lectures as well as dancers and filmmakers.


In Conversation with Gerard Charles
Date of event: Wednesday 24 October 2018
Time: 6-7.30pm
Artistic Director Gerard Charles joined Michelle Groves (Director of Education) in conversation at the Royal Academy of Dance’s Headquarters. Gerard, who was until recently the Director of Artistic Operations at Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, is responsible for providing artistic leadership, creativity and expertise to all areas of the Academy’s work, maintaining its artistic integrity and leading on the development of its artistic, education and community initiatives on a global scale. The appointment comes at a key time for the RAD as it looks ahead to its centenary year in 2020.

In Conversation with Amanda Eyles
Date of event: Wednesday 21 February 2018
Time: 6-7.30pm
The Faculty of Education began its 2018 Guest Lecture Series with a conversation between ballet mistress, stager and choreologist Amanda Eyles, and Anna Trevien, Head of Benesh International.
This event will outline some of the major highlights in Eyles’ career, including her role as a repetiteur for one of the most prolific choreographer of our times, Wayne McGregor.


In Conversation with Roslyn Sulcas
Date of event: Wed 25 October 2017
The Faculty of Education continues its 2017 Guest Lecture Series with a conversation between Roslyn Sulcas, dance critic for The New York Times, and Dr Kathrina Farrugia-Kriel, Head of Research. This event outlined some of the major highlights in Sulcas’ career, from her studies at the University of Cape Town through to interviewing one of the most prolific choreographers of our times, William Forsythe. Throughout her remarkable career, Sulcas has extensively written for The New York Times as well as various publications on dance.

In Conversation with Dr Ross McKim
Date of event: Wednesday 7 June 2017
The Faculty of Education commenced its 2017 Guest Lecture Series in conversation with Dr Ross McKim, choreographer, teacher, director and published author. This event outlined some of the major highlights in McKim’s career, from his studies at the Royal Ballet School through to setting up dance companies in Canada and Britain. Throughout his rich career, McKim has authored several books, choreographed for a wide range of companies as well as held the post of director at the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance for three decades. This event aimed to inspire those seeking longevity and transformation in their careers.


This year’s Guest Lecture Series celebrates women who have made a significant mark in the field of dance and dance education.

The third in this year’s series of events took place on Wednesday 26 October 2016 and focused on Dr Ann Hutchinson Guest, world-renowned expert in dance notation, highly acclaimed author, researcher on dance and founder of the Language of Dance Centre. In conversation with Michelle Groves, Dr Hutchinson Guest outlined some of the major highlights in her career: from her early studies at Dartington Hall in the 1930s, through to setting up the Dance Notation Bureau in New York and the Language of Dance Centre (LODC). Throughout her long and illustrious career, Hutchinson Guest has authored books as well as notation scores for ballet syllabi and reconstruction of repertoire. She has taught at Juillard School (New York City), the College of the Royal Academy of Dance and has evolved her Language of Dance Teaching Method at the LODC.

The second event in our 2016 Guest Lecture series took place on Wednesday 8 June 2016 and focused on Jeanetta Laurence, former Associate Director of the Royal Ballet. In conversation with Dr Kathrina Farrugia-Kriel, this event outlined some of Laurence’s career highlights, from her early studies with June Christian and at the Royal Ballet School through to commencing her role as Artistic Administrator at the Royal Ballet in 1990. After 25 years in company administration and now in retirement, she is a Trustee of the Frederick Ashton Foundation.
The first event took place in Cormani Studio at 6pm on Wednesday 27 April 2016 and our guest speaker was Kathryn Wade, Founder Director and former Chief Executive of the English National Ballet School and Trustee of the Royal Academy of Dance. In conversation with Dr Kathrina Farrugia-Kriel, Wade will outline some of the major highlights in her career, from her early studies at the Royal Ballet School, through to performing with the Royal Ballet and Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet), her work at ENB School and the Royal Ballet School to her continued interests in her retirement.


Professor Janice Ross (Stanford University) – Monday 16 February 2015
Politics and Ballet Pedagogy in the USSR
Janice Ross’s talk, which included rare archival videos and images from her research in Russia, Israel and the U.S., traced how the ballets of Leonid Yakobson (1904-1975), the leading experimental voice in mid-20th century Soviet ballet, challenged authorities at the same time as they invigorated the classical repertoire. Offering a daring alternative to socialist realist art his ballets for the dancers of the Kirov and Bolshoi opened new vistas for the young Russian stars like Mikhail Baryshnikov and Natalia Makarova. Yakobson questioned the form and content of ballet while repositioning its social relevance and retaining early twentieth-century movement innovations, such as turned-in and parallel foot positions, oddly angled lifts, and floor work, all of which challenged Soviet ballet orthodoxies. Since the fall of the USSR these same ballets have ironically become revered by Russian ballet teachers today for the students in the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg and are featured as essential parts of the training of Russian dancers.

In conversation with Magpie Dance – Thursday 11 April 2015
The year 2015 marked the 30th anniversary of Magpie Dance, a contemporary dance charity for people with learning disabilities. Magpie has a national reputation for its exciting and inspiring approach to inclusive dance. The event featured Dr Anne Hogan in conversation with founder and Artistic and Executive Director Avril Hitman, the Associate Director of the High Fliers Company, Jemima Hoadley and one of the High Fliers dancers, Jamie Gregory, who will also join the discussions. High Fliers is a training and performance programme for exceptional dancers with learning disabilities. Raising the bar of expectation and opportunity for dancers with learning disabilities to access and reach for a career in dance. The evening included excerpts from a film of High Fliers’ first performance in January 2015 as part of the “= dance festival”.


In conversation with Robert Parker (Artistic Director, Elmhurst Ballet School)


Sharon Friedman (University of Cape Town) – Monday 22 April 2013
Beyond the Tourist Gaze: Snapshots from South African Dance
The post-colonial context has provided a fertile ground for the development of diverse and polycultural artistic activities. Dance in South Africa is no exception. Friedman’s presentation attempted, with reference to the book: POST-APARTHEID DANCE many bodies many voices many stories (2012), to provide a brief context for the development of theatre dance in South Africa. Thereafter, it looked at some of the challenges to the growth of a unique South African dance voice with particular reference to the impact of the lingering effects of colonialism and the tourist gaze on both theatre dance and dance education.

In conversation with Lauren Cuthbertson (Principal, Royal Ballet) – Monday 11 November 2013
Lauren Cuthbertson, Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet, has won widespread acclaim, most noticeably for her performances in Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet(1965). Lauren’s connections with the RAD include being a former Phyllis Bedells prize-winner and Genée International Ballet Competition silver medallist. She was also interviewed in the Dance Gazette (October 2013 issue) about her experience as a winning medallist at Genée in 2001. In conversation with Dr Anne Hogan, we welcomed Lauren as an exceptionally gifted and versatile artist, who embraces the diversity of 21st-century ballet.

In conversation with Lynne Wake (filmmaker) – Thursday 7 March 2013
The Faculty of Education welcomed acclaimed filmmaker Lynne Wake to discuss and show clips from her work and take questions from the audience. Lynne trained at the Royal Ballet School and danced with Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet. She worked on the restorations of all the Channel Four Silents, including The Phantom of the Opera, Nosferatu, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the latest restoration of Abel Gance’s Napoleon in 2000. As production assistant and researcher she worked on many film history documentaries including Cinema Europe – the Other Hollywood, D W Griffith – Father of Film and Cecil B De Mille – American Epic. Now an independent filmmaker, she has produced and directed a number of dance history documentaries including Dancing in the Dark and Come Dance with Me, for Royal Opera House Collections, as well as master classes and instructional films such as Dynamic 5th, for Dreas Reyneke, and b.creative for the Royal Ballet School. She also made the film sequences for the 2009 restaging of Kenneth MacMillan’s Isadora.


In conversation with Kevin O’Hare (Director, Royal Ballet) – Monday 4 October 2012
On 4 October 2012, the Faculty of Education welcomed Kevin O’Hare to the RAD to talk about his career and new role as Artistic Director of the Royal Ballet. Open the video to hear Kevin answer questions from students and staff.

Watch the video


PDTD 40th Celebration
Past students and tutors of the PDTD programme (originally the Professional Dancers’ Teaching Course) celebrated its 40th anniversary on Wednesday 8 July 2016 at RAD headquarters in London.

The evening began with a welcome from RAD President Darcey Bussell, followed by an introduction from RAD Director of Education Dr Anne Hogan, highlighting the importance of a teaching programme for professional dancers.

Speeches came from Madeleine White, former PDTD student from the 1975 cohort, and Thérèse Cantine, former PDTD student and Tutor and current RAD Trustee. Guests were treated to a video message from Johaar Mosaval, also a former PDTD student from the 1975 cohort, followed by a reception.