See inside the spectacular new building on York Road
The entrance of the newly finished HQ. Picture: Google Streetview
March 23, 2021
Fancy getting a glimpse into the inner workings of the RAD’s new international home of dance? On the last Wednesday of each month, the world leading dance educator is offering thirty-minute tours of its newly finished HQ.
Tours will reveal, first-hand, the new spaces including enhanced education and training facilities for students and teachers, seven large dance studios, a café area and a shop, and a 193-seat performance area to showcase dancing talent.
Visitors will also get to view artworks relating to the history and development of the Royal Academy of Dance, as well as gain entrance to the Wolfson Library which houses one of the largest specialist dance collections in the UK.
Following the RAD’s move from Battersea Square last year, HRH The Queen Consort Camilla, who is also Vice-Patron of the RAD, formally opened the newly built global headquarters at 188 York Road in March 2022. HRH was given the first formal tour of the building by RAD President and south west London local, Dame Darcey Bussell, and RAD CEO Luke Rittner.
The RAD’s roots go back more than a hundred years to a seminal meeting in 1920 of leading dance professionals organised by Editor of the Dancing Times, Philip Richardson. The Academy was created with the objective of improving the standard of ballet teaching in this country, eventually growing into the UK-wide examination board specialising in dance education and training.
RAD exams are now recognised by the national qualifications regulators of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with certain exams also carrying a UCAS tariff towards university admission.
The RAD is keen to point out that during the tours this spring and summer, visitors will get to see how the organisation has expanded on its 100-year commitment to high-quality dance education and to bringing the transformational power of dance to more people.
The newly completed RAD HQ is a £19.5 million project funded by individuals and trusts, with the Academy still needing to fund the final £1.5 million after raising £18 million so far. It is housed alongside the Coda Residencies which have been built at the old Homebase site on York Road.
As part of its community engagement strategy the charity will deliver programmes with local dance, arts and community partners to meet the needs of the diverse community of Wandsworth and throughout London, with Wellbeing-oriented programmes such as Silver Swans™ (an initiative developed for older learners to practise ballet), Project B (which encourages and supports male dancers), and RADiate (subsidised inclusive dance classes for children with additional learning needs), along with an increased range of bursaries.
Tours are free to RAD members, £5 to non-members - which is refunded if you sign up to be a member. They are available from March 29th through to July 26th, on the last Wednesday of the month. Bookings can be made here.
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