6 June 2020 09:58
We are a diverse dance community
The RAD feels that it is important to come forward, along with many others, to speak out against racism and racial inequality, and to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
As an international organisation with a mission to bring dance to everyone, we are deeply saddened by injustice in any part of the world. We stand for equality and inclusion, and we decry racism and discrimination. Art has the power to overcome and it is our duty that we add our voice to draw attention to injustice where it happens, and that our actions work towards making real change. We know we must do better.
We stand with you. As a diverse dance community, we will not stay silent in the face of injustice and inequality. Change does not come unless we speak and stand together. #BlackLivesMatter
Celebrating black and indigenous artists
We have been inspired by Noma Dumezweni, actor and recent guest editor of Dance Gazette, who suggested to her followers that following on from #blackouttuesday they share examples of black artists and creativity that they found inspiring. In response, we have selected just some of the people who have influenced the world of dance through their teaching, performing, and dancing.
- RAD alumni and Birmingham Royal Ballet Principal, Celine Gittens, shares her story in RAD Voices.
- ‘Work with it or let me go’ – an interview with Genée 2015 gold medallist Leroy Mokgatle.
- LauREN Beharie on being a black ballet dancer and influencing change.
- Damian Smith – bullied as a teen, trained until he bled, and triumphed with San Francisco Ballet.
- Ella Havelka – Australian Ballet’s First Indigenous dancer
- An interview with Mike Wamaya, who is bringing dance to deprived areas in Kenya and who won a global teacher prize.
- ‘Buck’s fizz’ – street dancer, actor and model, Lil Buck, on jookin’ and ballet.
- Misty Copeland in Vogue, discussing dismantling barriers in dance.
- NAISDA Dance College – Australia’s premier Indigenous training college
- Bangarra – an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation and one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies
Here are links to resources for education, donations, petitions and other ways to get involved in speaking out against racism.
As an organisation we want to celebrate the successes of dancers of all ethnicities and backgrounds. Who has inspired you? Get in touch and let us know.
What can we do?
We have been listening to a wide range of discussions relating to how the dance industry can play its part in addressing racial inequality, and have seen a number of comments about clothing. We receive many queries about whether candidates can wear shoes and tights that match their skin tone for exams. We wanted to remind you that our Specifications state that candidates can wear tights or socks (according to the grade) and ballet shoes that match their own skin tone, available from from RAD Enterprises. Shoes are available to buy in three colours (including Ballet Bronze and Ballet Brown, created by Ballet Black and Freed).