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Royal Academy of Dance launches bursary scheme for ballet competition

Natasha Watson competing in the 2013 Genee competition. Photo: Andy Ross
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The Royal Academy of Dance has launched bursaries for performers from less privileged backgrounds to enter the renowned Genee International Ballet Competition.

Named after the academy’s president, the Darcey Bussell Genee Bursaries will be worth at least £1,500 each and will be available to Genee candidates in need of financial support.

Bussell described Genee as “one of the world’s most prestigious competitions” and said providing funding for dancers from less wealthy backgrounds would widen 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,” she added.

Between five and 10 bursaries will be awarded each year for the next five years, and will cover successful applicants’ entry fees, travel expenses and associated costs.

The Dame Margot Fonteyn Scholarship Fund is also offering one bursary of £2,000 per year over five years, which will be awarded alongside the RAD’s awards.

The Genee competition, held in a different country each year, was first held in 1931 in London, where it will return to this year. It is held over a week and is open to dancers who have trained on the RAD’s syllabus around the world.

This year’s competition, which takes place in September, will be held at the RAD’s headquarters in Battersea, London, with the finals taking place at Sadler’s Wells.

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