Royal Academy of Dance

A Brief History

History of the RAD Overseas Scholarship, 14+ Dance Scholarship Foundation, 14+ Dance Scholarship, and Alexander Grant Training Award

The first RAD Overseas Scholarship was awarded in 1941 to a young Rowena Jackson who had to wait till the war was over in Europe before taking it up.  Rowena went on to take Gold in the prestigious Genée Awards along with fellow New Zealander, Bryan Ashbridge who won the Male Gold Medal the same year.  Subsequent winners of the RAD Overseas Scholarship (until 2002) include – Alexander Grant, Mary-Jane O’Reilly, Sherilyn Kennedy, Kerry Anne Gilberd, Cora Kroese and Katie Hurst-Saxton.

The 14+ Dance Scholarship Foundation was formed in 2004 when fundraising for what was until then the RAD Overseas Scholarship was handed over to the RAD NZ office.   A group of 26 Founder members each pledged to contribute $250 per year for ten years to ensure the continuation of the newly named 14+ Dance Scholarship.  The name was decided on because 14 was the minimum number of Founder Members required to ensure funding for the first 10 years from 2004.  Any more than 14 was a “plus”.  

The 14+ Dance Scholarship event is held biennially, and is awarded in honour of Jeane Horne, who returned from the UK in 1932 with the RAD syllabus in her luggage.  She and other passionate teachers of the era, including Lily Stevens, Constance Macdonald, Dorothy Daniels, Jean Ballantyne, Beryl Nettleton and Bettina Edwards, made a huge contribution to dance in New Zealand.

In 2006 the Alexander Grant Training Award was established with assistance from Alexander Grant CBE, a former RAD Overseas Scholarship winner.   The judges of the 14+ Dance Scholarship make this award at their own discretion, to be used for a student’s ongoing training.