Dance Teachers Honoured by RAD

Robyn Croft, Hilary Kaplan and Joy Ransley

Australian Dance Teachers and Examiners Recognised for Outstanding Service to Dance by Royal Academy

Croft, Kaplan & Ransley

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) has announced it will acknowledge three of Australia’s leading dance educators, and examiners of the Academy’s global ballet syllabus, with an Honorary Fellowship. This very special award is given to individuals worldwide who have made an outstanding contribution to the art of dance and given exceptionally meritorious service to the Academy.

Robyn Croft, Hilary Kaplan and Joy Ransley have each been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Dance entitling them to use the FRAD post-nominal after their name going forwards. The three distinguished Members of the Academy will be presented with their award early in 2021 in the hope that restrictions due to COVID-19 do not impact too greatly on the occasions.

Australian RAD National Director Rebecca Taylor said, “Australians should be extremely proud to have such dedicated teachers and examiners as Robyn, Hilary and Joy. Their combined hours of service, dedication and support for the Academy are immeasurable. They are a credit to the Academy and thousands of dancers have benefited from their expertise over the years. It is my pleasure to count them amongst a Fellowship of truly remarkable individuals and I congratulate them each on their many achievements.”

Born in Brisbane Robyn Croft was educated at the Royal Ballet School before later joining the Royal Ballet Company. In 1962 Robyn was invited to return to Australia by Dame Peggy Van Praagh to become a founding member of the Australian Ballet. After retiring from professional life she turned to teaching the RAD syllabus before later being invited to become an examiner for the Academy in 1980. Robyn’s dance studio is still thriving and has celebrated 50 years and 2020 is her 40th year as an RAD examiner.

Hilary Kaplan was born in South Africa but also trained at the Royal Ballet School in London. She danced professionally in South Africa for many years before becoming an RAD examiner in 1990 and moving to Australia. In 1998 she established her studio in Sydney and has since trained many successful professional dancers including three gold medallists and one silver medallist at the Genée International Ballet Competition and a winner and a number of finalists at the Prix de Lausanne. Hilary is sought after as faculty for dance workshops and summer schools around the world.

Joy Ransley also travelled to London to complete her training at the Royal Ballet School before joining the Royal Ballet Company and later Dutch National Ballet for her professional career. Retiring from professional dancing, Joy taught extensively in Australia, co-directing her own school with her sister Dawn. For many years Joy was the artistic director for youth dance companies in Australia nurturing the development of young dancers, many of whom achieved success at the Genée International Ballet Competition, Prix de Lausanne and Youth America Grand Prix. Former students from her school have gone on to join major companies around the world including The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Australian Ballet, Houston Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and many more. Musical Theatre star Caroline O’Connor trained exclusively at ‘Ransley’s’ before embarking on her internationally renowned career. Joy has taught at White Lodge, The Royal Ballet School, English National Ballet School, Bush Davies, Elmhurst and has also been a faculty member for the RAD’s Professional Dancers’ Postgraduate Teaching Certificate (PDPTC) and international summer schools around the world.

RAD Chief Executive Luke Rittner added “As Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Dance, I am delighted beyond words that Academy Fellowships have been awarded to Robyn Croft, Hilary Kaplan and Joy Ransley. It is wonderful to be celebrating the achievements of three remarkable people whose collective knowledge, experience, dedication and loyalty mark them out as great ambassadors both for the Royal Academy of Dance and for dance as a universal art form. There can be no more deserving recipients.”


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