Darcey Bussell

Former Principal of The Royal Ballet & Strictly Come Dancing Judge

Darcey Bussell is a former Principal dancer with The Royal Ballet and one of the most famous British dancers of all time.

She was promoted to Principal in 1989, at just 20 years old, after the premiere of Kenneth MacMillan's The Prince of the Pagodas, in which Bussell had created the lead role. She retired from the Company in June 2007 with a performance of MacMillan's Song of the Earth, broadcast live on BBC2.

In 2007 she teamed up with Katherine Jenkins to create ‘ Viva la Diva’, which ran two sell out arena tours. She came out of retirement to dance the Spirit of the flame, leading a troupe of 200 dancers, at the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony.

Her broadcast work includes Darcey Dances Hollywood, Looking for Audrey, Ballet heroines, Ballet heroes and presenting The Royal Ballet's worldwide cinema simulcasts. She is a judge on Strictly Come Dancing. Darcey’s books include Darcey Bussell: A Life in Pictures, the 'Magic Ballerina' children's series (over 1.3m copies sold) and her autobiography.

In 2015 she launched DDMIX (diverse dance mix), a dance fitness program based on a wide variety of dance styles, which she choreographed with Nathan Clarke. It is aimed at both the adult and school market.
Among the many charities Darcey supports, she is the President of the Royal Academy of Dance, the International Patron of the Sydney Dance Company and President of the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s fund raising appeal.

She was appointed an OBE in 1995 and CBE in 2006.


Session Details

Advocating Dance Fitness in Schools

Stream 1 - Keynote Theatre: 2.40pm - 3.25pm

With the health and fitness of young people becoming a key issue of the 21st Century, Darcey Bussell believes that adding dance fitness to the PE curriculum of British schools would have a major impact on our education system and the health of future generations. In our afternoon keynote, Darcey will present the speech that she recently gave to the Houses of Parliament in February – advocating the Performing Arts, dance fitness and physical literacy in schools, before explaining the essential elements of the Diverse Dance Mix initiative and the many benefits of dance fitness for all.

2017 Highlights




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2017 Event Partners

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Speakers from June 2017 included...

Darcey Bussell

Former Principal of The Royal Ballet

Vic Goddard

As seen on ‘Educating Essex’

Maria Dawes

Regional Schools Commissioner

Clare Collins

National Governance Association

About the Organisers

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