Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)

Hyde Park School of Dance very own, Emma Thomas and August Tye are both Registered Teachers at the Royal Academy of Dance and the only Registered Teachers in Chicago!

What is the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) teaching method?

The RAD method is a ballet technique unique to the Royal Academy of Dance organization. The syllabus has been devised with great care, considering the child’s development in each level to make sure it is a safe training method. “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 slow. The principle behind this is that enough time is spent achieving optical technique before introducing new vocabulary, the easier it is for the student to learn the harder steps, whilst exercising basic technique to the maximum.”

What does the Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus look like?

The RAD offers two examination syllabi: the Graded and Vocational Examination Syllabus.                     

The Graded Examination Syllabus has different levels/grades and consists of Pre-Primary, Primary, grade 1-8. The syllabus is devised to progress in difficulty from one grade to the next. Each grade incorporates classical ballet and character work. “Classical ballet is the foundation of the RAD’s work and is the most important part of the Graded Syllabi. Character dance is an integral part of classical ballet repertoire. It is the stylized representation of a traditional folk dance from a European country and uses movements and music which have been adapted to theatre.” You will see character dance in famous ballets like Swan lake (Act 2 Hungarian Dance), Don Quixote (Spanish dancers), Coppelia (Hungarian dancers).

The Vocational Examination Syllabus is primarily designed for older children or young adults and is technically demanding. There is no character work, only classical ballet and pointe work. Vocational grades are Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced Foundation, Advanced 1, Advanced 2, Solo Seal.   

What does it mean to be a Registered Royal Academy of Dance Teacher?

The RAD is committed to produce the best teachers in the world. Teachers are held to the highest of standards in dance education and training. All RAD teachers go through rigorous training to be certified. It is mandatory for all Registered RAD Teachers to do Continuous Professional Development (CPD) every year to keep their skills and knowledge up to date. All teachers registered with the RAD adhere to the vision, mission and values of the RAD which states in the Code of Professional Practice for Teachers the following: 

Vision: Leading the world in dance education and training, the Royal Academy of Dance is recognized internationally for the highest standards of teaching and learning. As the professional membership body for dance teachers, it will inspire and empower dance teachers, students, members, and staff to make innovative, artistic and lasting contributions to dance and dance education throughout the world.

Mission: The Royal Academy of Dance exists to promote and enhance knowledge, understanding and practice of dance internationally by educating and training teachers and students and by providing examinations to reward achievement, so preserving and extending the rich, artistic and educational value of dance for future generations.

Values: The Royal Academy of Dance provides LEADERSHIP as an organization and as individuals. The Royal Academy of Dance values its people. At every level of the organization teachers, students, members and staff are EMPOWERED to think creatively, recognizing their ability to make significant contributions to the business. The Royal Academy of Dance supports and promotes the concept of lifelong learning and continuing professional development for all. The Royal Academy of Dance expects all teachers, students, members and staff to treat one another with RESPECT and to be committed to openness and TRUST in all professional relationships. The Royal Academy of Dance also believes in RECOGNISING and REWARDING loyalty. The Royal Academy of Dance promotes ENJOYMENT and FULFILMENT in all that it does and offers as an organization. It is committed to creating an engaging, welcoming environment that inspires artistry, facilitates teaching and encourages learning.

The Royal Academy of Dance will:

• Communicate openly

• Collaborate within and beyond the organization

• Act with integrity and professionalism

• Deliver quality and excellence 

• Celebrate diversity and work inclusively

• Act as an advocate for dance 


To learn more about the Royal Academy of Dance, please visit their website.