Who We Are

To fulfil our aims, we rely upon the efforts of our directors and the passion and guidance of our president, vice presidents and our board of trustees.

Dame Darcey Bussell, CBE – President

Darcey was born in London and trained at the Royal Ballet School where the late Kenneth MacMillan noticed her exceptional technique. In 1988 he gave her the leading role in his ballet The Prince of The Pagodas, causing her to move to The Royal Ballet…

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Guy Perricone – Chairman

After qualifying as a solicitor with Linklaters, Guy Perricone worked for 20 years in investment banking at Salomon Brothers, SG Warburg and ABN AMRO. During this time, he was a founding partner in a joint venture…

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Management Team

Luke Rittner – Chief Executive

Luke Rittner took up his appointment as Chief Executive on 1 September 1999. Previously he was Secretary General of the Arts Council of Great Britain (1983–1990), Communications Director for Sotheby’s Europe (1992–1998) and in previous years has run the Bath Festival…

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Ian Pogue – Director of Finance and Administration

A Chartered Accountant who began his career with Deloitte & Touche, Ian took over as Director of Finance & Administration at the RAD in March 2015. Previous to this he spent five years at the BBC in various management roles, becoming Head of Finance…

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Melanie Murphy – Director of Marketing, Communications, and Membership

Melanie joined the Royal Academy of Dance in May 2003 as Press & Marketing Manager. In 2006 a new department was created and Melanie became Head of that department. She was appointed Director of Marketing…

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Dr. Andrew McBirnie – Director of Examinations

Andrew took up the role of Director of Examinations at the Royal Academy of Dance in January 2010. Previously he was Chief Examiner in Music for London College of Music Examinations, based at Thames Valley University, where he also…

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Gerard Charles – Artistic Director

Born in Folkestone, England, Charles received his dance training at the Royal Ballet School and returns to the UK to join the RAD after spending nearly forty years based in America…

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Michelle Groves – Director of Education and Training

Having gained professional dance experience in Australia and the United Kingdom, Michelle trained as a Labanotation practitioner and teacher with Ann Hutchinson Guest in London. Before joining the Faculty of Education (FoE) in 2000, she taught extensively…

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Matthew Cunningham – Director Fundraising and Development

Matthew joined the Royal Academy of Dance in February 2013 as interim Director of Marketing and Communications, and took up the new role of Director of Fundraising, Development and Special Projects in November 2013…

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