The RAD started life in 1920 as the Association of Teachers of Operatic Dancing in Great Britain.
It was born out of a meeting of leading dance professionals arranged by Philip Richardson, former editor of the Dancing Times. With Adeline Genée chosen from among her peers as its first President, the Association launched its first syllabus in the same year and held its first exams in 1921.

1928 saw Queen Mary become the Association’s first patron and in 1936 it became the Royal Academy of Dancing (RAD) after receiving its Royal Charter from King George V. The following year, the RAD was awarded its coat of arms by the College of Arms.

You can also download The First 75 Years, an anniversary brochure published in 1995 which details our history to that point.

As we are approaching our centenary, a detailed history and chronology of the RAD will be available here shortly.

History of RAD Australia

The first examinations of the Royal Academy of Dance in Australia commenced in May 1935 with UK visiting examiner Felix Demery whose five weeks grades and major tour included Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Wagga Wagga, Sydney and Brisbane


Our centenary is an important time to recognise our roots, our achievements, our influence, and also to look to building our legacy. It is also the right time to show our gratitude to our dedicated membership and the part they have played in making the RAD the organisation, the authority, and even the family, that it has become.