Competition Stories

Here, we’ll be collecting interviews, articles and stories from those involved in the competition, giving you insider information about what goes on behind the scenes, the thoughts of the competitors, and recollections from people integral to the competition.

Below, have a read of some stories from some of our past competition candidates.

Questions for the 2019 Finalists

What would you ask a competition finalist? The 2019 cohort recently took to our Instagram stories to answer your burning questions. Photo Credit: Michael Slobodian…
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Six Questions for Gerard Charles

Our Artistic Director, Gerard Charles, recently took to our Instagram stories to answer your burning competition questions. What advice do you have for young dancers? Listen to…
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Septime Webre: What I've Learned

The artistic director of Hong Kong Ballet and competition judge on being bossy and finding new mountains to conquer.
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Mission Possible: RAD Bursaries

The RAD’s bursaries scheme helps young dancers compete in the competition, whatever their circumstances. Four successful applicants share their stories with Nima Naik.
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Key Insights: Interview with the Pianists

As much a part of the competition as the dancing and choreography, is the music. We asked seasoned competition pianists, Jonathan Still and Richard Norriss,…
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Continuity and Variations: An Interview with Maria O'Connor

A familiar face to anyone involved in the competition in recent years, candidate coordinator, Maria O’Connor, recently celebrated 25 years at the RAD. Maria started…
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Where are they now?

With over 80 years of history, and increasing prominence in the world of ballet, the competition continues to produce an impressive list of alumni. The…
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Seven Reasons to Compete

From working with a choreographer to life-long friends (and bagpipes!), seven former competitors share their fondest memories of the competition.
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Getting competition ready

From Zumba to meditation, five candidates share their training routine secrets ahead of the competition. ‘I take classes in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, and lyrical…
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Lucky charms

We asked the 2019 competition candidates what lucky charms they will bring to the competition. ‘I have many lucky charms. On every tutu or other…
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Staying calm under pressure

Competitions can be nerve wracking. We asked some of the 2019 candidates to share which techniques they use to keep calm and perform at their…
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Competitors on Choreographers

While the competition is known for launching careers of dancers, past Commissioned Choreographers have also gone on to amazing careers and have done some incredible…
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To compete or not to compete?

What makes the competition stand out from other competitions? Seven Alumni tell us what makes our flagship event so special (Spoiler: we hold on to…
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What drives candidates to apply for the competition?

For many young dancers, competing in this competition is a dream come true. Seven of this year’s candidates tell us what drove them to apply.…
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These Eight competition Alumni are #Winning!

Shock, disbelief and pure joy – eight competition Alumni recount the moment they realised they would be competing in the Final and even won a…
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What I’ve learned - Gioconda Barbuto

Photo: Michael Slobodian Italian-Canadian dance artist, Gioconda Barbuto, was the Commissioned Choreographer for the 2019 competition. “My parents always said I came out dancing. I…
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Advice from Mikko Nissinen

Photo: Liza Voll Mikko Nissinen is Artistic Director at Boston Ballet and was on the judging panel at the competition in Toronto. We should probably…
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Next Stop: A Career in Dance

This competition is a stepping stone for a professional career in dance. Six medallists, who have gone on to work for some of the best…
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Seven Ways to Prep Like a Pro

Work, work, work, work, work, work…but what else? Beyond class and rehearsal upon rehearsal, seven alumni spill on their competition prep plan.
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Eight Secrets for Choosing a Piece for a Perfect Performance

Struggling to pick a variation for an upcoming competition? Eight alumni give some insights on how they chose their winning variations (Tip: use these for…
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Nine Dance Bag Essentials

From the obvious (all the pointe shoes!) to the odd (what’s guarana?), these professional dancers (who happen to be competition alumni) tell us what they…
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Ten Tips for Relieving Competition and Exam Stress

Performance anxiety plagues even the pros! Ten competition alumni share how they deal with the inevitable pre-show jitters.  
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