HRH The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) headquarters in Battersea, London for the first time.
The RAD was delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness to watch a range of dance classes and to meet with students of all ages, as well as staff.
The Duchess observed a Silver Swans session, a ballet class specially designed for learners aged 55 and over, which was taught by RAD Registered Teacher Sarah Platt.
These classes, which have been launched across the UK, are taught exclusively by Silver Swans Licensed Teachers, who have been trained to safely adapt ballet techniques for older adults.
The RAD’s Ambassador for Silver Swans Angela Rippon CBE also attended the class and discussed the initiative and the many benefits of ballet for older learners.
Her Royal Highness also had the opportunity to observe the next generation of male dancers take inspiration from RAD’s Male Dance Ambassador and former Birmingham Royal Ballet Principal Iain Mackay, who led a Project B dance class, just for boys.
The visit was rounded off by a demonstration of the RAD’s new Discovering Repertoire programme. Artistic Director Paula Hunt MNZM, and students studying on the Academy’s BA in Ballet Education programme presented a taster of this classical ballet performance programme, which allows students to learn choreography from famous ballets to the original music score.
Chief Executive Luke Rittner CBE said: “It was a privilege and a delight for us to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to our headquarters in Battersea today. We hope that The Duchess enjoyed her visit to the Academy, and particularly the opportunity to see some of the ways in which we promote dance and dancing to students of all ages, and in 84 countries around the globe.”
Angela Rippon CBE was delighted to have the opportunity to welcome HRH to a Silver Swans class:“It was wonderful to meet HRH The Duchess of Cornwall today and for her to see a Silver Swans class in action. Ballet is fabulous exercise for body, mind and spirit, particularly as we get older.”
‘Silver Swan’ Ruth Holleley added: “We were excited to show The Duchess that ballet is for every age group!”
The Royal Academy of Dance received its Royal Charter from King George V in 1936. The following year, the RAD was awarded its coat of arms by the College of Arms.
The Academy is proud to have Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as its Patron.
The RAD has been based in Battersea Square since 1972, and is currently preparing to move to a new, purpose built headquarters less than a mile from its current location in 2020, the same year that the organisation will celebrate its centenary.