The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)
Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) is a leading International dance examination
board specialising in Classical Ballet. This Academy was established in
London, England in 1920 and received its Royal Charter in 1936. HM Queen
Elizabeth II is currently the Royal patron of the RAD and Dame Antoinette
Sibley has served as President since 1991.
The RAD was initially formed with the objective to improve the standard of Classical Ballet training in the UK and a method of ballet technique was devised for the Academy by a group of eminent European dancers. This method has become one of the most widely used in the world and has led to the RAD becoming a leading dance education and training organisation, with over 13,000 members, operating in 79 countries Worldwide. 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 more than a quarter of a million students worldwide.
The RAD is a validated dance awarding body of the Council for Dance Education and Training. The RAD also works in partnership with the International Dance Teachers' Association. The RAD consists of both a registered charity and a commercial division known as Royal Academy of Dance Enterprises.
The most identifiable aspect of the RAD teaching method is the attention to detail when learning the basic technique of ballet and the progression in difficulty is often very slow. Whilst the difficulty of an exercise may only increase slightly from grade to grade, more importance is placed on whether the student is performing the step with improved technique. For example, plie exercises are employed consistently throughout the lower grades to enable the student to progressively deepen the plie and improve turnout. The principle behind this is that if enough time is spent achieving optimal technique before introducing new vocabulary, the easier it is for the student to learn the harder steps, whilst exercising basic technique to the maximum at all times.
The RAD offers two training programs, both of which are suitable for both male and female students. Each program represents a complete system of dance training and includes a series of difficult examinations. The two programs are the Graded Examination Syllabus and the Vocational Graded Syllabus.
Graded Examination Syllabus:
The Graded Examination Syllabus consists of 10 grades, incorporating classical ballet, free movement and character dance. The syllabus is designed for students to progress in difficulty from one grade to the next, developing greater dance technique at each level. Students take examinations given by their dance teachers. In the examination, the students perform and are graded on certain techniques. Successful candidates receive a certificate printed with their name and the grade level passed.
Vocational Graded Syllabus:
The Vocational Graded Syllabus is mainly designed for older children or young adults who are considering a career in professional dance. The vocational syllabus is very demanding, consisting of only classical ballet and pointe work. Students must be competent in the fundamentals of ballet technique and vocabulary. Unlike the Graded Examination Syllabus, the vocational grades must be studied in sequence with students successfully passing examinations at each level before progressing to the next.