How To Teach A Two Year Old Boy To Dance How the Royal Academy of Dance Started in South Africa

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How the Royal Academy of Dance Started in South Africa

The Royal Academy of Dance is the largest ballet dance association in the world. There are thousands of teachers and examiners around the world who each year teach the RAD curriculum and register candidates for ballet exams.

The Royal Academy of Dance was started in London in 1920 by several teachers who wanted to improve the standard of classical ballet and its teaching. At that time, anyone could say they were a ballet teacher and act like one. As a result, there was a very poor standard of dancers turning out, along with many unnecessary injuries.

Operative Association, as it was then called, was surprisingly taught in South Africa as early as 1922, but was not actually established until 1927. In 1920, Madame Ravodna visited South Africa and performed at the Empire Theater in Johannesburg. Madame Ravodna ended up staying and that was the beginning of teaching real technical classical ballet in South Africa. She gave annual concerts that aroused interest among dance lovers, and received rave reviews in the newspapers for her good, solid technique, the likes of which had never been seen in southern Africa at the time.

Ivy Conmee and her sister Mary were the first to teach the curriculum in SA. Ivy Conmee undertook to go to London to study and was the first teacher in South Africa to return her teaching degree at the ripe old age of fifteen.

Ivy Conmee was born in SA but spent most of her childhood in London. She returned to Johannesburg to open a dance school. Ivy Conmee’s name comes up whenever the Royal Academy in South Africa is mentioned. As one of the founders in South Africa, she dedicated many years of her life to training and development within the Academy.

In 1926 she and two other teachers, Majorie Sturman and Poppy Frames, asked that an examiner be sent. They telegraphed Edouard Espinoza (the founder of RAD) and guaranteed £500, which they did not have, to cover the trip. When Espinosa agreed, the teachers had to be frantically busy organizing bake sales and raffles and anything else they could think of to raise the huge amount of money needed. And they did!

The South African branch of the Operatic Dancing Association was then established with the financial support of Miss Poppy Frames’ brother. South Africa was the first country to adopt these methods from Great Britain, and the Association later became known as the Royal Academy of Dance.

Ivy Conmee, Poppy frmes and Marjorie Sturman were the first examiners of the Association in South Africa appointed by Espinosa.

For more Ballet Food, visit: http://balletdancing4u.blogspot.com

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