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.
Advocating Dance Fitness in SchoolsStream 1 - Keynote Theatre: 2.40pm - 3.25pm
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.