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The Royal Academy of Dance was established in 1920 at the Trocadero Restaurant in Piccadilly, London by a small group of eminent dance professionals.

Brought together by Philip Richardson, former editor of 'Dancing Times', the group included five European greats: Adeline Genée from Denmark, Tamara Karsavina of Russia, Italy's Lucia Cormani, France's Edouard Espinosa and Phyllis Bedells of England.

They represented the principal dance training methods of the time. It was their concern for the poor quality and badly organised state of dance training in Britain at the time that led to  the emergence of the Association of Operatic Dancing of Great Britain.



Photo: Judith Espinosa, Anton Dolin, Tamara Karsavina, Adeline Genée, Phyllis Bedells, Ninette de Valois and D G MacLennon


Over the next decade, the Association grew in size and influence. At the last Privy Council Meeting of King George V in 1935, the Association was granted a Royal Charter and became the Royal Academy of Dancing.

In 1997 'The Benesh Institute', the international centre for 'Benesh Movement Notation', was amalgamated with the Royal Academy of Dancing. Founded in 1962, the Institute's role to train and examine students, co-ordinate technical developments and protect copyright in choreographic works led to its system of notation being the most widely used by dance companies.

On 20 December 1999 the Privy Council granted an ammendment to the Charter and the Academy changed its name to the Royal Academy of Dance.