02 Sep Techniques and Styles: RAD
The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) was established in London, England in 1920 by Genee, Karsavina, Bedells, E. Espinosa, and Richardson and received its Royal Charter in 1936. Genee was its first president, succeeded by Fonteyn in 1954. It is one of the youngest methods of ballet also known as the English style of ballet. Its aim was to further the cause of artistic dancing throughout Great Britain and the Commonwealth, especially classic-academic dancing, and continuous improvement of its teaching standards. Now, this method is also widely spread in Northern America.
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.