Royal Academy of Dance appoints Paula Hunt as Artistic Director

24 Nov 2016

Paula Hunt, ARAD RAD T Dip MNZM. Photo: Maarten Holl

Paula Hunt, ARAD RAD T Dip MNZM. Photo: Maarten Holl

Luke Rittner, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Dance has announced that Paula Hunt ARAD RAD T Dip MNZM has been appointed Artistic Director.
Paula, who is currently the Chair of the Academy’s Panel of Examiners, will take up her new position in January 2017 as Lynn Wallis steps down after 22 years as Artistic Director.

Paula was appointed an examiner of the Royal Academy of Dance in 1985, and in 2005 became Chair of the Panel of Examiners. She has trained and mentored over 200 examiners and tutors who examine the Academy’s syllabus and deliver the Academy’s training courses throughout the world, respectively. Since 2006, Paula has worked closely with outgoing Artistic Director, Lynn Wallis on the development of the Academy’s graded and vocational graded syllabi.

In 2016 Paula Hunt was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of her status as one of New Zealand’s most successful and celebrated dance educators.

Luke Rittner commented:  Paula Hunt is highly respected by examiners, teachers and students alike. Renowned for her passion, energy and commitment to the Royal Academy of Dance but also her commitment to excellence in teaching, which is the Academy’s mission; Paula’s strong artistic vision will build on the success of the last 20 years as we move towards our centenary in 2020.’

Upon accepting the Artistic Director role Paula Hunt said:  “I am truly excited to be given the opportunity to lead on the Academy’s artistic vision, uphold its integrity and promote excellence as it moves towards the centenary and beyond.’  

Lynn Wallis OBE, the outgoing Artistic Director of 22 years is hugely supportive of the appointment: “Paula has such a wealth of experience not only through her many years working with the Academy but of running a very successful dance school herself. The Academy’s artistic future is in very safe hands and I wish her every success.”

Paula will retain oversight of the training and mentoring of the Academy’s examiners under her new directorship.


About Paula Hunt, ARAD RAD T Dip MNZM

Paula is a dance educator, tutor and examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance. After completing RAD examinations, she attained the Solo Seal and was awarded a Queen Elizabeth Arts Council Bursary to further her training. As chair of the RAD’s international panel of over 200 examiners, Paula is responsible for the development of examination content, standards and marking systems, as well as the training of new examiners. As Head of Syllabus Development, Paula has been involved in the creation of the new Pre-Primary in Dance to Solo Seal syllabi. She has contributed on many levels including choreography, trialling, and production of DVDs and launches of syllabus content. Paula has directed the Paula Hunt Dance Studio in Wellington, New Zealand, across the last 40 years. Many students from the studio have danced in companies throughout the world. She has taught on many international summer schools, teachers’ workshops and has also created a number of courses for the RAD. Most recently Paula was appointed to the New Zealand Order of Merit, by Her Majesty The Queen, for her services to dance