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 our reputation for being the ‘friendly competition!’)


‘I feel the Genée stands out from other competitions in a unique way due to its RAD origins. Throughout the class sections, it’s clear that every student has had a similar training and good understanding of the RAD syllabus and terminology.’ – Elizabeth Harrod, Soloist with The Royal Ballet (Finalist, 2003)


‘For me, the whole experience was so lovely and friendly not like many other competitions. It felt like you were part of a little family for the week leading up to the final competition. We had brilliant classes and you make a lot of friends throughout the process.’ – Tierney Heap, Soloist with The Royal Ballet (Bronze, 2010)

That summer camp feeling

‘It’s definitely the fact that it was very much a ‘work in progress’ environment. I got along so well with the other contestants, it didn’t feel like I had travelled there to compete, it was more of a summer camp feeling.’ – Alex Wong, Dancer, singer and actor (Bronze and Audience Choice Award, 2003)


‘The whole atmosphere felt friendlier than most competitions. The competition between us candidates was very constructive, supportive even. The coaching was also exceptional and I have met most of those teachers later on in my career.’ – Valentino Zucchetti, First Soloist with The Royal Ballet (Gold, 2006)

It doesn’t feel like a competition

‘The Genée didn’t feel like a competition. It was more like a celebratory workshop highlighting the achievements of everyone involved.’ – Steven McRae, Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet (Gold, 2002)

Holistic learning experience

‘The Genée has such a wonderful focus on the holistic learning experience rather than simply the competitive aspect. I felt I took away much more than a medal; it felt like a wonderful week of workshops, a unique opportunity to take class with world-class teachers and work directly with an amazing international choreographer!’ – Isabelle Brouwers, First Artist with English National Ballet (Silver, 2013)


‘I found that the Genée really cultivated a sense of camaraderie among the competitors. The group classes and rehearsals encouraged fellowship and friendliness between dancers, and I always felt so much support and encouragement from everyone around me. It was a wonderful atmosphere to be a part of.’ – Alexandra MacDonald, First Soloist with The National Ballet of Canada (Finalist, 2006)