Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) has launched a new fundraising campaign to provide financial support for young dancers taking RAD exams across the world.
Named ‘Steps to Success’ the campaign, which was announced at a Patron’s Circle event at RAD’s HQ in London last night, is designed to widen access to dance internationally. The event was attended by dance stars and celebrities and celebrated the importance of vital dance education globally.
RAD ballet examinations make a huge and palpable impact across the world, with 219,697 RAD ballet exams taken globally last year. Progressing through examinations in dance gives young people the confidence, application and determination that will help them excel in whatever career path they choose to take.
Although the demand for exams continues to be high, cost of living crises around the world mean that for some aspiring dancers, access to important dance training and examinations is challenging.
A.R.A.D. RAD Examiner Cynthia Fisher, based in Canada, says, “I am sure that teachers often subsidize the cost of training for students who show commitment and potential but may not have the financial resources to pursue as much training as they need or desire. Increasingly, as a result of the current economic climate, teachers and dance schools themselves are experiencing hardship. This [funding] will be very helpful to support deserving pupils.”
Rosana Presente from Brazil says, “Lately, it has been very difficult to enter students for RAD exams. In 2024, we hope to have more sponsorship to give some of them the conditions to enter the exams, but paying the fee is still a big problem.”
Commenting on the impact that financial support has on their dancing dreams, young dancer Nanami says, “I would like to say thank you so much for giving me this chance, so that I could do the RAD Intermediate Foundation examination. My parents work very hard, but because they earn in Ghana cedi, it makes it very difficult for them to pay in dollars or pounds equivalent fees. I have four siblings, so it is hard for them, but they always try to give us the best things available.”
Speaking of the Steps to Success campaign, Tim Arthur Chief Executive of the RAD says, “We are delighted to be launching Steps to Success, which will create important opportunities for young dancers across the globe and play a part in breaking those barriers that currently make dance inaccessible to certain communities.”
Members of the public can give young dancers from across the world the chance to dance by making a donation. All donations are then matched by an RAD donor, meaning that for each exam that is funded, two dancers will be supported. Supporting young people with their RAD exams ensures that everybody is able to dance.
For more information on Steps to Success and to donate, visit www.royalacademyofdance.org/support-us-old/steps-to-success. The public has until March 2024 to donate.