About The Fonteyn
The Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition, named after RAD’s longest serving president Dame Margot Fonteyn DBE, is our flagship annual event.
In May 2019, the RAD renamed ‘The Genée’ to ‘The Fonteyn’ in honour of our longest serving president. The RAD will continue to honour its first president with the Adeline Genée gold medal for the best dancer.
The RAD acknowledges with gratitude the support of the Dame Margot Fonteyn Scholarship Fund, the only charity bearing her name, which will provide significant additional support to the competition to mark the name change. The Fund also continues its ongoing support of candidates at the competition, pledging an increased number of bursaries per annum for the next five years, and continuing to present the audience choice award in Dame Margot’s name.
The competition is one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world, attracting the finest young dancers trained in the RAD syllabus, from around the globe. Candidates receive a unique opportunity to work with renowned choreographers and teachers for five days before performing at the semi-finals, and then the final, where they compete for a range of medals.
The competition started in 1931, when the Adeline Genée Gold Medal was awarded to Felicity Garratt, and was named ‘The Genée.’ Other medals were later added: the silver (1934), bronze (1956), and gold and silver for male dancers (1938). The competition has taken place almost every year since, and is now a truly global event.
In 2002 the RAD took the decision to hold the competition outside London for the first time, taking it to Australia where Sydney Opera House played host to a record number of candidates. Following that success, the competition has now been hosted around the world.
A stepping stone to a career
Past medalists have gone on to work for some of the best ballet companies around the world, including: The Royal Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, The Mariinsky Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, National Ballet of Canada, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Estonia National Ballet, Northern Ballet, Australian Ballet, English National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and The Hong Kong Ballet.
Interested in competing for the coveted Fonteyn medals? Check the competition eligibility criteria below.
The Fonteyn is open to dancers who have passed the RAD Intermediate, Advanced 1, as well as Advanced 2 examinations in Classical Ballet (Advanced 2 with Distinction). Applicants must be current members of the RAD.
Candidates must be aged between 15 and 19 on the closing date of the application, be of pre-professional status and may not have been employed on a professional contract prior to entry of the competition. If you have been offered a professional engagement beginning after the last day of advice for results, you will still be eligible to enter the competition. Evidence is required of the qualification held.
Candidates pay a set fee for a unique week-long creative experience, coaching from world-renowned répétiteurs and choreographers, and full room and board. Candidates are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from the host country.
Support The Fonteyn
The Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition and the events that surround it each year are funded by the Royal Academy of Dance centrally, local organising committee fundraising campaigns, and by sponsors.
We also work with a range of partners who generously give their time and expertise to make the Fonteyn a reality each year.
If you are interested in becoming a Fonteyn partner or sponsor, please contact Matthew Cunningham, Director of Strategic Development and Fundraising, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.