• Global dance education organisation Royal Academy of Dance launches 176-page coffee table book to celebrate landmark centenary.
  • Over 150 beautiful archival images dating back over 100 years tell the story of how the RAD revolutionised the teaching of dance to bring ballet to a new audience.
  • The exquisite photographs highlight some of the great dancers and educators of their time, such as Adeline Genée and Margot Fonteyn, and showcase many of the dedicated teachers and students of the present, as well as the dancers of the future.
  • Royal Academy of Dance: Celebrating 100 Years is published on 2 December 2019, available at
  • The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is celebrating its 100thbirthday with over 150 archival images, illustrations and modern-day photography of dancers from around the world in its new book Royal Academy of Dance: Celebrating 100 Years (Scala Publishing, 2 December).

This commemorative book celebrates 100 years of the Academy, including dancing and education, performances and competitions, and the Academy’s many successful outreach projects. Designed to be enjoyed by everyone, from dance novices to aficionados, this book offers a peek into the dance studio, and into the life of one of the world’s most prestigious dance education organisations. 

From shoes to the syllabus and choreography to costumes, the book will shine a spotlight on fascinating stories of some of the key figures from the history of the RAD. Through rich imagery, go on a journey with some of the most renowned dancers of their day such as Darcey Bussell, Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn, alongside insights from the teachers, examiners, students and dance lovers that sit at the very heart of the RAD.

What is now an international operation, the RAD was born out of a campaign in the UK that founding editor of Dancing Times Philip Richardson and dancer and ballet teacher Edouard Espinosa launched in the pages of the magazine in the 1910s. Together, they lobbied for standards of dance teaching to be established, and pushed to create a governing body to ensure that standards of teaching were maintained throughout the country. To reach this goal and form such an organisation, they enlisted the support of international dance stars and teachers, including fellow founding members Adeline Genée, Phyllis Bedells, Lucia Cormani and Tamara Karsavina.  Through drawing on the finest schools of dance teaching – British, French, Italian, Danish and Russian –the RAD fulfilled the need and supported the development of 20th century British ballet. The RAD was founded in 1920, with Genée chosen from among her peers as its first President. The organisation launched its first syllabus in the same year and held its first exams in 1921, helping to ensure that bythe end of World War II, Britain was recognised as an international force to be reckoned with.

To celebrate the centenary year, the RAD is planning a programme of events and initiatives throughout 2020, designed to celebrate the past, present and future of the renowned dance organisation with a global dance community.  Amongst the highlights are a free to enter display at the V&A museum, open from May 2020. The display will explore the RAD’s shift towards a more international role and its ongoing impact on dance and dance education today. There will also be a host of wraparound events, workshops, performances, guided tours and talks to enjoy.In 2020 the RAD will present the newly named Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition which takes place at the Royal Opera House for the first time, a series of 100 events in 100 places, and Dance is in our DNA, a video project using the app Seenit to showcase the diverse work of the RAD and its membership around the world.  

Royal Academy of Dance: Celebrating 100 Years is published on 2 December 2019, available for £35.00 plus postage and packaging at

For more information on the Royal Academy of Dance and the centenary celebrations please visit




Notes to Editors

About the Royal Academy of Dance

With approximately 13,000 members in 89 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.

About On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100

The V&A is working with the Royal Academy of Dance to curate a free-to-enter display (May 2020-February 2021, free entry) celebrating 100 years of the RAD’s significant contribution to the development of British ballet.  The display will explore the RAD’s shift towards a more international role (including Nureyev’s arrival in Britain and his partnership with RAD President Dame Margot Fonteyn,) and its ongoing impact on dance and dance education today. There will also be a host of wraparound events, workshops, performances, guided tours and talks to enjoy.