Strictly Come Dancing judges Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood enjoyed a night of ballet and bubbly at London's Mandarin Oriental Hotel last week for the launch of the Royal Academy of Dance's Project B. Former principal dancer at the English Ballet, Wayne Sleep gave his stamp of approval at the party too, which was also attended by schoolboy Rudolf Nuryevs-in-waiting hoping to pick up dance tips from the stars.
Held on a balmy summer's evening at the exclusive five-star hotel located between Hyde Park and Knightsbridge the event's guests enjoyed the sunny weather, spilling out from the function room to its adjoining outdoor space with its panoramic park views.
Craig Revel Horwood and Arlene Phillips
Every girl needs a dance partner and through Project B's range of initiatives the RAD is aiming to boost the number of boys putting on their dancing shoes. When Billy Elliot pirouetted across cinema screens his miner's-son-turned-ballet-dancer star turn may have captured the nation's hearts and inspired a hit West End musical, but it seems not to have inspired new generations of male dancers.
Darcey Bussell with Team Project B
With the Academy's campaign, which includes a cricketing partnership designed to get girls playing the sport, as well as dance choreography based on superheroes and sport, Project B is making a bid to banish stereotypes around men in ballet.