Five years ago, Darcey Bussell of the Royal Ballet, who was once hailed as the best dancer in Britain since Margot Fonteyn, chose to retire from the world of dance and move over to Australia.
At this point she decided that being a mother was more important then being a top UK dancer. However, the family now lives in the UK again and has taken on the role of President of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). AS such, she is now an ambassador for British dance including a stint as a judge with the BBC reality show Strictly Come Dancing.
RAD was created in 1920 in an effort to bring back life into dance teaching and has worked hard at creating a syllabus that now reaches out to 250,000 students located in over 79 countries. The aim of the dance institution is to promote a better practice, understanding, and knowledge of the form of dance on an international level.
Bussell is taking over the role of president from another top UK ballerina: Dame Antoinette Sibley who was the head of the group for 21 years prior to her official retirement this past April. The main concern of Bussell now that she is in charge is to help British dancers find a home for their talent as many dancers from the UK often wait in the wings as contracts from the leading dance companies often go to foreign dancers.
In fact, 200 dancers graduate from the top seven dance schools in the UK but only a small handful actually find positions at prominent dance companies such as the English National Ballet or the Royal Ballet. For instance, the only British female principal that is a member of the Royal Ballet at this moment is Lauren Cuthbertson.