How Old Is The Ballet Girl From World Of 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 worldwide who teach the RAD curriculum and enter candidates for ballet examinations each year.

The Royal Academy of Dance was founded in London in 1920 by several teachers who wanted to improve the level of classical ballet and its teaching. At that time, anyone could say that he was a ballet teacher and functioned as such. The result was a very poor level of dancers and a lot of unnecessary injuries.

Surprisingly, the Operatic Association, as it was then called, was taught in South Africa as early as 1922, but was actually founded in 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 held annual concerts that aroused interest among dance lovers and garnered rave reviews in the newspapers for her good solid technique, which was never seen in South Africa at that time.

Ivy Conmee and her sister Mary were the first to teach the syllabus in SA. Ivy Conmee decided to go to London to study and was the first teacher in South Africa to bring back a teaching diploma 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 is mentioned whenever reference is made to the Royal Academy in South Africa. As a founding member 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, petitioned for an examiner to be sent. They telegraphed Edouard Espinosa (the founder of the RAD) and guaranteed £500, which they did not have, to cover the trip. When Espinosa agreed, the teachers had to be frantically busy arranging cake sales and raffles and anything else they could think of to raise the huge sum of money required. And they did!

The South African branch of the Opera Dance 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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