World-renowned prima ballerina Darcey Bussell CBE has been elected president of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), becoming only the fourth president in the organisation’s 92-year history.
Darcey follows in the footsteps of Dame Antoinette Sibley who retired in April after 21 years in the role. She joins the RAD, one of the world’s most influential dance training organisations, at a time of growth and increasing public interest in all forms of dance.
Luke Rittner, Chief Executive, welcomed Darcey’s appointment:
“Our membership voted overwhelmingly to appoint Darcey as our fourth president and I am personally delighted that she has accepted the position. Darcey is one of Britain’s most distinguished ballerinas, and her passion for all forms of dance makes her the ideal role model to lead the Royal Academy of Dance towards its centenary in 2020,” he said.
“We look forward to working with her on a wide variety of national and international projects that will keep us, and our members, at the forefront of dance education and training.”
Darcey commented: “It is a privilege to be asked to be president of the Royal Academy of Dance, an institution which consistently makes such an outstanding contribution to the art of classical ballet and to so many forms of dance. It is very important to me that the RAD continues to provide both the very best quality of training, but also continues to instil the enjoyment and love of dance in everyone by offering such a wide range of opportunities to get involved,” she said.
“As president of the RAD, I will aim to embody the academy’s vision and values, which Dame Antoinette Sibley so wholeheartedly supported and which strongly reflect not only the organisation’s rich past but also its investment in the future of dance, dance-education and training. I am passionate about dance and truly look forward to representing the RAD in this role.”
Widely recognised as one of the most accomplished English ballerinas of all time, Darcey joined the Royal Ballet in 1988 and became a principal dancer just one year later in 1989. During her career, she performed as a guest artist with leading international ballet companies around the world, including New York City Ballet, The Kirov and Paris Opera Ballet. Her final performance was MacMillan’s Song of the Earth performed with Carlos Acosta at the Royal Opera House and broadcast live on BBC 2 in 2007. She has continued to be very active in the dance world and she has just been confirmed as the new judge on BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing this autumn.
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