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New bursaries for Genée International Ballet Competition

Posted on March 20, 2015

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) has announced the new Darcey Bussell Genée Bursaries, designed to help young dancers enter the Genée International Ballet Competition.

For the next five years, the RAD will award between five and ten bursaries to Genée candidates. Worth at least £1,500 a year, the bursaries will be awarded to candidates from around the world. Funded by donations made at the RAD’s QEII Coronation Award Gala, held in September 2014, they will support eligible students who for financial reasons might not otherwise be able to enter the Genée. Named in honour of the RAD’s president, the Darcey Bussell Genée Bursaries will cover successful bursary applicants’ entry fees, travel expenses and associated costs. Applications for the bursary are now open.

Darcey Bussell said: “The Genée International Ballet Competition is one of the world’s most prestigious competitions, showcasing the best in both contemporary and traditional ballet styles. The Genée is a coveted platform that all young ballet dancers from across the world aspire to be a part of. These bursaries will create the opportunity for candidates from less privileged backgrounds to compete, importantly widening the talent pool for the competition. There is no doubt that this will influence the individuals we will see joining the world’s finest ballet companies in the future.”

In addition, the Dame Margot Fonteyn Scholarship Fund has pledged to award a bursary of up to £2,000 per annum for the next five years, supporting eligible Genée candidates. This will be administered by the RAD in tandem with the Darcey Bussell Genée bursary scheme.

The 2015 competition will take place in London, with the competition final held at Sadler’s Wells on September 19. Tickets go on sale to RAD members on March 19, before general release on May 19. 



Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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