A keen dancer from a young age Darcey Bussell trained at the Arts Educational School and later the Royal Ballet School. It was there that the late choreographer Kenneth MacMillan noticed her talent and gave her the leading role in his 1988 production of ballet The Prince of the Pagados. She subsequently moved to the Royal Ballet and was made principal dancer at just 20 years old, making her the youngest ever principal of the Royal Ballet.
In addition to her dancing career Darcey has been photographed by the likes of Mario Testino and Lord Snowdon. She has also starred in campaigns for Mulberry and Harvey Nichols.
A full length portrait of Darcey Bussell by the artist Allen Jones RA was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in 1994. She was was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1995 and was later made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2006.
It was also in 2006 that Darcey retired from her role as Principal Dancer of the Royal Ballet.
Darcey has won numerous awards including the Variety Club of Great Britain’s Sir James Garreras Award and the Evening Standard Ballet Award. She was was selected as joint winner f the Cosmopolitan Achievement Award in the Performing Arts category.
But what lessons has the former ballerina learnt in her 46 years? For one, that you should keep taking risks and “step out of your box” she says. And for her wellbeing? “Eat healthier, because it pays off!” and last but not least to remember to “have fun and work hard”. Watch our exclusive video to discover what else Darcey Bussell would tell her younger self…