The Royal Academy of Dance’s (RAD) new state of the art global headquarters at Avanton: Battersea started to take shape this morning at an event to celebrate the building’s topping out.

Students presented an exclusive dance piece, choreographed by Artistic Director, Gerard Charles and President Dame Darcey Bussell, to mark a significant construction milestone at the new headquarters.

The new building will be completed in 2020 and will be a key moment in the year marking the Academy’s centenary.

Dame Darcey Bussell was joined on site by Luke Rittner, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Dance, Avanton’s Managing Partner, Omer Weinberger and Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, along with students of the Academy to mark the occasion.

In a special dance display at the topping out ceremony six RAD dance students unveiled a 10-metre long ribbon, cut by Academy President Dame Darcey Bussell to mark the first stage of this new development.

The ceremony marks an exciting new chapter in the Royal Academy of Dance’s future as a world-class leader in dance education and training.

The new 60,000 sq.ft building provides almost double the footprint for the Academy, and will enable the Royal Academy of Dance to meet increasing demand for dance classes and workshops for people of all ages and abilities.

Working closely with Wandsworth Council, the Royal Academy of Dance will be delivering a cultural engagement strategy for the local community.

Dame Darcey Bussell, President of the Royal Academy of Dance commented: "Today marks an exciting new chapter for the Academy as we approach our centenary in 2020.

"This building symbolises a new ‘home’ of dance, that will benefit our worldwide members, staff and partners, and will also enable us to strengthen our links to the local community.

"As President I am proud of the work the RAD does to promote a love of dance in everyone, regardless of ability or background, and to nurture future generations of talented teachers and dancers."

Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council said: “The Royal Academy of Dance is a Wandsworth institution who have been in the borough for almost 50 years.

"It was critical to us that they stayed in Battersea, a part of London which is ever evolving, and continued to add to our exciting range of cultural venues and organisations.

“The new venue marks the next stage in their journey and is an important addition to the local area, with the local community continuing to benefit from their presence as a world class institution and the wonderful work they do. I wish them every success in their new home.”