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The competition is open to dancers who are current members of the Royal Academy of Dance. Candidates must: 

  • have successfully passed their RAD Advanced 2 with Distinction (or anticipate that they will by the closing date),

  • be aged 15-19 years by 31 May 2024,

  • be of pre-professional status, and

  • not have been employed on a professional contract prior to entry to the competition. However, students who have been offered a professional engagement that starts after the competition will still be eligible to enter.


The Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition is dedicated to promoting and rewarding standards of excellence in young ballet dancers internationally. This is achieved by offering aspiring dancers the unique opportunity to work with world-renowned choreographers and professionals, as well as the chance to perform on an international stage. 

The competition

The Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition represents the pinnacle of achievement for young people trained in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus. The competition identifies talented young dancers and often launches them into a professional career. 


The competition originated quite humbly in 1931 as the ‘Adeline Genée Gold Medal’ and was introduced as an additional incentive for candidates who had passed the Solo Seal examination. Felicity Garratt was the first recipient of this award; other medals were later added: the silver (1934), bronze (1956), and gold and silver for male dancers (1938). 


The award continued to progress and develop into a competition format and remarkably it has taken place almost every year since 1931, even during the Second World War. In 2002, the RAD took the landmark decision to hold the competition outside London in order to embrace its international spirit, taking it to Australia where Sydney Opera House played host to a record number of candidates. 


Since 2002, the competition has been held in cities across the world including Sydney, Birmingham, Athens, London, Hong Kong, Toronto, Singapore, Cape Town, Wellington, Glasgow, Antwerp and Lisbon. In 2024, we are delighted that the Fonteyn will again be taking place in London. 

General information

Venues and schedule

The Fonteyn classes and coaching sessions will take place from Sunday 1 September to Sunday 8 September and will be held at RAD Headquarters, 188 York Road, London, SW11 3JZ. Times of classes and coaching sessions will vary each day and candidates will be provided with a timetable at the Welcome Reception on Saturday 31 August.  Candidates will be needed all day, every day unless otherwise notified. 


The semi-finals will be held in the Aud Jebsen Studio Theatre, at RAD Headquarters on Wednesday 4 September, Thursday 5 September and Friday 6 September starting each day at 10.30am. 


The final will be held at His Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket, on the evening of Sunday 8 September 7.00pm. 

Judges and Faculty

To be announced at a later date 

Entry qualifications

The competition is open to dancers who are current members of the Royal Academy of Dance and have achieved Advanced 2 (with Distinction). Evidence is required.  


Candidates must be aged 15 – 19 years by Friday 31 May 2024 and be of non-professional status. They must not have been employed on a professional contract prior to participation in the competition, however, students who have been offered a professional engagement that commences after the competition will still be eligible to enter.  


Candidates who are waiting for their Advanced 2 examination result must still complete an application form to be submitted by the closing date. Please note that if you have not already taken your Advanced 2 Examination, this must have been completed in person by the 31 May 2024 and any filmed RAD Advanced 2 examinations submitted by the end of April 2024. 


Should applications exceed capacity the RAD will undertake a process of selection based on video submissions of a classical variation. If this is required, you will receive a request from us. 


Candidates will be notified on Monday 10 June at 18.00 (UK time) whether or not they have secured a place at the Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition 2024.  


It is only on receipt of this confirmation that you will know whether or not you will be competing at the Margot Fonteyn International Ballet Competition 2024.

Closing Date

The closing date for applications is Friday 31 May at 18:00 (UK time). 


Applications should be completed via the online application form.


At the point of application we will request the following 


  • Evidence of qualifications 

  • Short biography (of no more than 60 words) 

  • Headshot – supplied as a JPG only (see example below) 

  • Music for Dancer’s Own variation – supplied as .WAV file 


Please note: the headshot provided will be included in the official Fonteyn souvenir programme. If you are unsure of what to provide, please send us any digital portrait of yourself in a large file size – we will crop and resize the jpg as needed.  


Applicants are advised to take out insurance, if available, to guard against withdrawal due to injury or sickness and for the cost of medical treatment throughout the duration of the competition. It is your responsibility to act on our advice. We do not endorse any providers, but we are aware of one provider and there may be others which we encourage you to research: 

Visa to travel

You may require a visa to travel to the United Kingdom. To check whether you require a visa to visit: How to apply for a visa to come to the UK: Choose a visa - GOV.UK (

Content of the Competition

There are three major sections of the competition: 



Classes and coaching sessions will take place from Sunday 1 September to Sunday 8 September and will be held at RAD Headquarters, 188 York Road, London, SW11 3JZ. These sessions are compulsory for all candidates. 


All candidates must take part in their allocated coaching classes to be considered eligible to take part in the competition’s semi-finals.  



Practice ballet attire should be worn and the leotard may be of any colour. Tights should be regulation exam colour. For class, candidates should wear soft pointe shoes or flat ballet shoes and for the pointe work section, pointe shoes with ribbons. 


Commissioned Variation   
The RAD has commissioned a choreographer to create two variations for female and male identifying candidates respectively. This has become one of the most uniquely rewarding and challenging parts of the competition. All candidates will work with the choreographer and will benefit from the creative challenge of learning and rehearsing the variations throughout the week. Finalists will perform these variations on stage at His Majesty’s Theatre. 


Candidates should wear the same practice attire as worn for the semi-finals class. There will be some flexibility to modify the practice attire – further guidance will be provided prior to the competition.  


Dancer’s Own Variation 

Candidates must prepare a newly choreographed variation no shorter than 1 minute in length and no longer than 1 minute 30 seconds created by themselves, their teacher or a peer to a piece of music of their choice. Candidates are requested to use copyright-free music for their Dancer’s Own. We cannot guarantee that Dancer’s Own variations choreographed to music that requires copyright or licensing will be included in a live-streamed broadcast or recording of The Fonteyn. 


For those dancers who are required to perform their classical repertoire variation en pointe their Dancer’s Own variation must also be performed en pointe.  


Candidates may wear a simple costume and use hand-held props if appropriate; however, no scenery or masks may be used. The candidate’s costume must not make any reference to characters from films or musicals that are still in copyright.  

Guidelines for Choreographer: 


  • Creativity is encouraged and we always look forward to seeing your Dancer’s Own choreography. The RAD have teamed together with Rambert School to make a short video that will hopefully help inspire you to develop all your great ideas:  

  • The Faculty reserve the right to alter the Dancer’s Own variation if necessary. 


Music Guidelines: 


  • Should be no shorter than 1 minute in length and no longer than 1 minute 30 seconds in duration. 

  • Be taken from a recording which has been purchased legitimately or recorded for, and licensed to, the candidate. 

  • If desired, be an original composition by the student or the result of a collaboration. 

  • Should contain no internal cuts to the music. 

  • You must upload a copy of your music in .WAV format at the time of application. If you do not have the file at the time of application you will be able to log in to an online portal and upload the track at a later date. This must be the final version that you wish to dance to with and any fades or cuts at the end of the music already made. Such adjustments cannot be made at the competition. 

  • The quality of the track you provide must be of professional standard as it will be played for the performance to the live audience.  


Things to think about: 


  • How does your music end? Remember it is easy to fade out music, but you cannot fade yourself out from the stage so easily! 

  • You may choose any kind of music, however, if your music contains lyrics, these must not include any offensive material (i.e. sexist, racist or in other ways defamatory). 


Classical Repertoire Variations 

Candidates should select and rehearse ONE Variation provided from the list of approved 19th century and 20th century Classical Repertoire variations shown below.  


Please note that if you entered for the competition in 2023, you must choose a different classical repertoire variation for 2024.  


As there are sometimes differences in the way that 19th century variations are titled in different productions. YouTube links to help you identify the music for each variation are provided for your information only and are not recommended sources or tempi or choreography for the variations.  


19th century variations must be taken from a traditional classical 19th century production, and must be rooted in classical vocabulary - contemporary interpretations using 20th or 21st century vocabulary will not be accepted. Candidates must identify which company and production their chosen 19th century variation is from. This will need to be stated on the application form. 

The Faculty reserve the right to alter the 19th century Classical Repertoire variation if necessary. 


Those candidates who choose a 20th century variation will be sent a visual reference of these variations. Candidates must learn the choreography from the information shared.  

19th Century Variations

1. Sleeping Beauty - Fairy 3 (Woodland Glade) - video min 2:02

2. Bayadere Shade 1  Variation - video

3. Bayadere Shade 2  Variation - video min 1:46:32

4. Swan Lake pas de trois  1st Variation - video

5. La Ventana Female Variation - video

6. Paquita Variation 1 - video

7. Paquita Variation 2 - video

8. Raymonda Pizzicato - video min 0:25

9. Corsaire - 2nd Odalisque - video

10. Corsaire Medora Act 2 - video

11. Giselle Act 1 - video

20th Century Variations
12. Danses Concertantes (MacMillan, 1955), Principal Variation, 4/4 Risoluto

13. Cinderella (Ashton, 1948), Summer Variation, 12/8 Andantino Sognando


Traditionally Male Variations (to be performed off pointe)  
19th Century Variations

14. Swan Lake pas de trois - video

15. Coppelia - Act III Franz 0 - video min 1:27:58

16. Raymonda Act III Jean de Brienne - video

17. Satenella - video

18. Napoli Pas de Six 1st Variation - video

19. Talisman - video

20. Colas' Variation from "La Fille mal gardée" by A. Gorsky - video

21. Giselle Peasant pas de deux 2nd variation - video

20th Century Variations

22. Manon ((MacMillan, 1974), Des Grieux Act I - video*

23. Les Patineurs (Ashton, 1937), Blue Boy’s Variation

*This link is only as a guide to the solo and the relevant section ends at 1:35. Those candidates who choose this variation will be sent a more detailed link of the choreography.

For Pointe variations, pointe shoes with ribbons are required.


For 19th century variations the costume should be appropriate to the variation, and a head-dress may be worn; a leotard with tutu of any matching colour may be worn in place of a complete costume.


Specifics for 20th century variation

Summer Variation: Costume should be a plain coloured leotard and matching mid-calf length chiffon skirt. Tights should be a regulation exam colour.


Danses Concertantes – A plain coloured leotard. Tights should be regulation exam colour.


Manon – Candidates must wear a loose shirt that can be tucked into tights or has an elasticated waist.


Les Patineurs - Leotard and tights or unitard



The semi-finals will consist of the following:  


  • Classwork on Wednesday 4 September.  

  • Dancer’s Own variation on Thursday 5 September.

  • Classical Repertoire variation on Friday 6 September. 


Candidates must complete all sections of the semi-finals in order to remain eligible for the Finals. 


Semi-finalists who have not been chosen as Finalists are asked to participate in an on-stage Defilé immediately prior to the awards ceremony. Rehearsals for this will take place at the Royal Academy of Dance headquarters. The time will be confirmed in your timetable, which you will receive at registration. 



The final will consist of the performance of the Commissioned Variation, the Candidate’s own Dancer’s Own variation and their Classical Repertoire variation. 


Criteria for Assessment 

Candidates are assessed on the work they show and not on any prediction of future promise. The following criteria are followed across both the class work and variations: 




  • Secure posture and weight placement, use of turnout, articulated, clearly defined footwork 

  • Co-ordinated and sensitive use of the arms and hands in balanced harmony with the whole body showing breadth of movement, use of épaulement, alignment, head and eye line 

  • Rhythmical and controlled pirouettes  

  • Controlled, sustained and co-ordinated adagio movements creating harmonious lines through the whole body 

  • Effective use of elevation, accurate batterie, and the ability to reflect the dynamics and artistic qualities of the allegro steps 

  • Use of space 



  • Rhythmical accuracy and timing 

  • Inspired and considerate response to musical atmosphere, dynamics and phrasing 



  • Confident movements performed with ease and control 

  • An ability to interpret and express the varying artistic qualities and appropriate styles 


Dancer’s Own Choreographic Award 

Introduced in 2013, this award recognises and promotes choreography in the competition and gives the opportunity to explore creativity and imagination. 


The judges will adjudicate this award at the semi-finals and the winning choreography will be announced alongside the announcement of the Finalists, and will be performed at the final on Sunday 8 September whether or not the winning candidate is a finalist. 


Criteria for Choreographic Award  

The recipient of this award is the candidate choreographer who in the judges’ opinion demonstrates the highest standard of choreography within the variation based on the following assessments:  

  • Structure 

  • Dynamics of movement 

  • Use of space 

  • Depiction of theme or story 

  • Choice of and response to music/sound. 


Musicality Award  

Introduced in 2024, this Award recognises and promotes musicality in the competition. 


The Musicality Award will be judged across the class work and variations and the winner will be announced following the semi-finals. 


Criteria for Musicality Award 

The recipient of this Award is the candidate who in the Judges opinion demonstrates the greatest awareness of and response to: 


  • Dynamics 

  • Sensitivity to phrasing 

  • Atmosphere and Temperament 

  • Aspects of style 


 Awarding of Medals  


Medals are awarded to finalists showing the highest levels of competency in the stated criteria. The judges’ decision is final. 


The Genée Gold medal is awarded to the finalist who, in the judges’ opinion, demonstrates exceptional technical skills, an innate response to music, outstanding performance qualities and charisma.  

Only one Genée Gold Medal will be awarded and one Silver Medal. The judges may decide to award up to two Bronze medals. In this event, the prize money will be divided. 

The prize money will be awarded as follows:  

Gold £5,000  
Silver £3,000  
Bronze £2,000 

In addition to the above medals, the Choreographic Award has a monetary prize of £250 generously supported by the Lynn Wallis  Bursary Fund established in honour of the RAD’s former Artistic Director.  


New for 2024 the Musicality Award has a monetary prize of £250 will be presented to the winner and is generously supported by the Lynn Wallis Bursary Fund.  


The Dame Margot Fonteyn Audience Choice Award will be awarded on the night of the final following a public vote. This award has a monetary prize of £250 generously supported by the Dame Margot Fonteyn Scholarship Fund. 

Musicality Award

Candidate fees, accommodation and travel


The fees for 2024 are:  


£50.00 registration fee plus £500.00 entry fee. Total: £550.  


Please make payment by the following links: 


Candidate Registration fee - £50.00 (non-refundable) – due at the time of application.  

Candidate Entry fee - £500.00 - due by the closing date.  


Failure to make payment will result in your application being deemed incomplete. 


In the event that your application is unsuccessful, your payment will be refunded to you within 28 days after the application closing date, however, please note that your registration fee will not be refunded.  

Candidates in receipt of a bursary will be refunded accordingly if payment has already been made. 


The fee includes: 


  • World-class tuition  

  • Semi-final performance opportunities at the Royal Academy of Dance global headquarters before a live audience and distinguished judging panel.  

  • For finalists - the opportunity to perform before a live audience and distinguished judging panel at His Majesty’s Theatre. 

  • For non-finalists: a ticket to watch the final. 

  • Access for all candidates to a welcome reception on 31 August 2024.  

  • Lunch provided (between 1 – 6 September for semi-finalists and 1 – 8 September for finalists). 

  • Administrative costs (for example required permissions for use of Dancer’s Own music related to live performances). 

  • Pastoral care throughout the competition (provided by RAD on-site chaperones) 

Accommodation for Candidates 


Candidates are required to organise their own accommodation for the duration of the competition. We recommend that you ensure you have accommodation from 31 August – 8 September 2024 inclusive. 
You are advised not to book travel unless you have received written confirmation of a place which will be sent out to you after the final closing date.  

A list of hotels and discounts for the candidates is available in the candidate info pack.

International Travel 


Please check your Visa entry requirements for the UK. 




The currency is Pound Sterling (GBP). Candidates should have enough funds to cover their expenses whilst in the UK.  

Welfare and wellbeing of Candidates

Welfare and Wellbeing of Candidates 


The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) has a ‘duty of care’ to provide a safe environment for and to promote the health and well-being of children, young people and adults at risk. The RAD takes all reasonable steps to ensure that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults at risk is embedded in our contact with them. The RAD ensures that children and adults at risk are well protected and that there is a system in place to safeguard their welfare. The RAD believes that the welfare of the children and adults is paramount, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse as defined in the Equality Act 2010. 

Physical contact may be necessary by members of the teaching faculty. If you would like to discuss this matter please contact in the first instance.  

In the event of an injury or medical emergency during the competition, a qualified First Aider will provide necessary treatment and assistance. If the candidate is under 18 years old, a parent/guardian will be notified of the incident. An accident report form will be completed.  




The RAD provides chaperones who will be responsible for candidates under the age of 18 years during the welcome reception, coaching, semi-finals and Final. All chaperones have current criminal records checks (DBS or equivalent) in place and are briefed on the RAD’s Safeguarding policy and procedures. Candidates under the age of 18 will not be permitted to leave the coaching/competition venue during the coaching day, unless accompanied by a parent/guardian or teacher. The Royal Academy of Dance also encourages those candidates over the age of 18 to abide by this regulation. 

If something or someone is worrying you 

If something or someone is worrying you at any time, candidates can speak to a chaperone or member of staff. If you prefer, email and we’ll be there to help. 


If you have a safeguarding concern, whether it relates to yourself or another candidate please speak to the Lead Chaperone immediately. 


The RAD has a designated Safeguarding Manager and low-level concerns can also be sent to at any time. 


The RAD’s Safeguarding Policy & Procedures are available online and updated annually. 

Registration and Welcome reception 

Registration & Welcome Reception – Saturday 31 August 

All candidates should make their own way to the Royal Academy of Dance Headquarters and candidates may arrive between 14:00 – 16:30 for registration 

The Welcome Reception will commence at 17.00 and candidates may bring one guest (parent/teacher) to this event. At the welcome reception you will be introduced to your coaches for the week, the RAD Fonteyn staff and other people who will be assisting with the organisation of the competition. Dress code is smart casual. This will be followed by a tour of the building for all candidates. 

Tickets and Booking Information 


4 – 6 September 

Aud Jebsen Studio Theatre, Royal Academy of Dance 

188 York Road, London SW11 3JZ 


The Final 
Sunday 8 September: 7.00pm 
His Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket 

More information regarding tickets will be available on this website.

Images and Social Media

The Royal Academy of Dance has a lively and engaged worldwide community of almost 500,000 followers and fans on our social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn and also YouTube. During the competition, the communications team will be taking appropriate images and videos, using a selection to publish regularly on RAD’s social media channels, or to share with our sponsors and partners to post on theirs. We use our social networks in order to promote the competition, raising its profile worldwide, providing you with a platform to be seen by the dance industry and ensuring we attract an appreciative audience for the semi-finals and the final. 


We encourage candidates to post about their positive experiences of the event using the official event hashtag #Fonteyn2024.  


We encourage candidates to post ‘behind-the-scenes’ content which can include: 


  • Images or videos of candidates warming up with other candidates. Please make sure you have the other candidate’s consent when doing this. 

  • Images or videos of candidates preparing for each of the competitions i.e. entering the RAD building or leaving the building for the day. 

  • Images of candidates wearing their attire during break times. 

  • Candid images or videos of candidates in the RAD studios during break times and before, not during, classes. 


Whilst you are allowed to share your experience of the competition on social media, there are exceptions. You are not allowed to film or photograph any of the following as they are strictly prohibited: 


  • You are not allowed to film any of the classical variations, commissioned variations or any other candidates Dancer’s Own Variations. This is due to intellectual copyright and music copyright. 

  • You are not allowed to film any of the class work due to intellectual copyright and music copyright. 

The communications team monitors this throughout the competition and will ask you to delete anything that is deemed inappropriate or in breach of copyright. 


Our social media pages are listed below. Keep a lookout for the official event hashtag #Fonteyn2024 and please also feel free to repost and share anything that we post on our official channels throughout the competition. 


A member of the communications team may get in contact to invite you to do some filming for social media, providing an opportunity for you to share your experience and promote yourself as a dancer. You will be supported and briefed appropriately beforehand. 


The RAD will also commission an official Fonteyn photographer and videographer to capture images of the competition from start to finish. Advance warning will be given before they go into studios and will be briefed to be as unobtrusive as possible and they will be accompanied by an RAD member of staff at all times.  


Similarly, we may invite news photographers and broadcast crews to report on the competition, they will be accompanied by RAD staff and no candidate will be asked to do or say anything that they are not comfortable with. 


If you have any concerns about press, photography or filming please raise it with Press & Communications Manager, Katie Hagan

Contact for further information

Maria O’Connor, Royal Academy of Dance,

188 York Road, London SW11 3JZ, UK


tel: + 44 (0)20 7326 8024

Terms and Conditions


  1. Acknowledgement of your application is not confirmation of a place at The Fonteyn International Ballet Competition 2024; this will be confirmed on 10 June. 

  2. You are advised not to book travel unless you have received written confirmation of a place which will be sent out to you after the final closing date.  

  3. Applications will be considered invalid if candidates do not send all the requested information and full payment by the closing date.  

Cancellation of The Fonteyn International Ballet Competition 

If The Fonteyn has to be cancelled due to a circumstance beyond the reasonable control of the RAD including but not limited to acts of God, compliance with any law or governmental order rule regulation or direction, war, riot, strike, terrorist acts or the threat of terrorist acts, civil commotion or insurrection, royal demise, malicious damage, fire, flood, accident, storm, breakdown earthquake, subsidence or failure of the plant, machinery and associated property of the RAD or any public utility, health epidemic, pandemic, infectious disease or any other unforeseen event, the RAD will endeavour to reschedule the activity where possible, but this cannot be guaranteed.   


The RAD will offer candidates the opportunity to transfer their booking to the next event or offer a full refund of fees. 


Withdrawals and refunds 

Candidates who withdraw will be subject to the clauses below: 

  1. Candidates who withdraw from The Fonteyn International Ballet Competition after submitting an application will not have the registration fee of £50.00 refunded.  

  2. Candidates who withdraw from The Fonteyn International Ballet Competition after the closing date, but before Friday 28 June, who have paid the entry fee and registration fee (£550.00 in total) and have been accepted into the competition will not receive a refund unless a medical certificate is provided. In such cases the registration fee of £50.00 will be retained by the RAD and the remaining balance of £500.00 will be refunded. 

  3. There will be no refund for withdrawals under any circumstance on or after Friday 28 June 2024. It is for this reason that we strongly advise you to obtain your own insurance.  



Candidates are advised to consider taking out insurance against withdrawal due to medical reasons, or due to personal reasons which might prevent them from completing the competition. Candidates with an existing injury attend The Fonteyn International Ballet Competition at their own risk. 


Physical contact may be necessary by members of the teaching faculty. If you would like to discuss this matter, contact Maria O’Connor, Royal Academy of Dance, 188 York Road, London, SW11 3JZ, by e-mail:, or tel: + 44 (0)20 7326 8024. 



The Academy reserves the right to alter the advertised programme, judging panel and Faculty without prior notice. The information in this and other printed or electronic brochures/notices was correct at the time of publication.   

Data Protection Statement

The RAD holds information and contact details requested at the time of your booking that enable them to provide you with information relating to a candidate registration for the competition. We will not disclose your information to a third party except where legally required to do so. 


In addition, our new Privacy Statement and Company Privacy Policy are available to view and download: 

The Learning and Participation Privacy Statement is available to view online here. 


The full RAD Privacy statement is available to view online here.

Corporate Partners

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The Dame
Margot Fonteyn Scholarship Fund

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Live Stream Partner

If you are interested in sponsoring The Fonteyn, please be in touch with us via email.
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