Royal Academy of Dance Appoints Gerard Charles Artistic Director

  • Charles returns to the UK after spending more than 40 years in America where he served in executive roles for major dance companies including Joffrey Ballet and BalletMet
  • He will be responsible for providing artistic leadership and expertise to all areas of the Academy’s work, as it approaches its centenary year in 2020 when it will move into a new, purpose built HQ in Battersea

24 SEP 2018, LONDON: The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) has appointed Gerard Charles as its new Artistic Director.

Charles, who was until recently the Director of Artistic Operations at Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, will step into this role on Monday, 15 October. He will be 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, which includes moving into a new purpose-built HQ which, at almost double the size of its current premises, will provide a world-class space and future-proof home for the RAD.

Luke Rittner, Chief Executive, Royal Academy of Dance said:

“As one of the world’s leading authorities on dance, we are delighted that an Artistic Director of Gerard’s calibre will be joining us during such a key transitional phase for the Academy. He has committed his professional life to dance and brings a wealth of experience to the role having worked in nearly all facets of the industry – from performer and ballet master through to MD, Educational Director and Artistic Director – with some of the most highly regarded dance companies in the world.

"His experience and vision, alongside his appreciation for the RAD’s structured approach to education and training, make him an ideal addition to our organisation, and we look forward to working with him as we approach the major centenary milestone and lead the RAD into its next chapter.”

Born in Folkestone, England, Charles received his dance training at the Royal Ballet School and returns to the UK to join the RAD after spending nearly forty years based in America. As a professional dancer, his career started at Ballet International before moving to Milwaukee Ballet and BalletMet in roles ranging from corps de ballet to Principal. Since retiring from the stage, he has served as Education Director for Ballet Met Columbus; Ballet Master for BalletMet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens; Artistic Director BalletMet and most recently Director of Artistic Operations at Joffrey Ballet. He has choreographed and staged works internationally and received an NEA Choreographic Fellowship.

Gerard Charles, newly appointed Artistic Director, Royal Academy of Dance. said:

“With a history stretching back almost 100 years, this is an ideal time to begin to work with the Royal Academy of Dance and to meet the evolving needs of our art form as we take the Academy forward.

"I believe that a high-quality foundation is critical to the success of young dancers and that the RAD is well placed to deliver that by providing systematic training at each critical stage of a dancer’s life through its focus on the training and mentoring of their teachers, monitoring standards, and giving opportunities to people who would not otherwise have the chance to dance.

"The RAD provides a continuum that offers close connections with dance at any age or ability and it will continue to champion the broader interests of dance, and its supporters, well in to the next century.

"I am keen to get to work and to meet the community that makes all this possible.”

For more information on the Royal Academy of Dance please visit

- ENDS -

For more information, interviews and images, please contact Jack Hickmott at Kallaway on or 020 7221 7883

Notes to Editors

Facebook:  @RoyalAcademyofDance  
Twitter: @RADheadquarters
Instagram: @RoyalAcademyofDance  
YouTube: /RoyalAcademyDance
About the Royal Academy of Dance

With 14,000 members in 84 countries, the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is one of the largest and most influential dance education and training organisations in the world.  Established in 1920 to improve standards and re-invigorate dance training, the Academy helps and encourages its teachers to perfect their teaching skills and pass on this knowledge to their students. There are currently over 1,000 students in full-time or part-time teacher training programmes with the Academy and each year the examination syllabus is taught to thousands of young people worldwide, with around a quarter of a million pupils per year going on to take RAD exams.