Oxford University has awarded Darcey Bussell an honorary degree at a ceremony at the Sheldonian Theatre on 18 July.

Darcey Bussell, CBE, became the then youngest ever Principal at the Royal Ballet in 1989. As well as dancing all the leading ballerina roles in the classical repertory, she also created many new ones, notably for the choreographer Kenneth MacMillan. She retired from ballet in June 2007, although she has been a regular on the dance scene, with her own books and own show.

During the ceremony the University’s Public Orator said that Darcey Bussell ‘adds to technical mastery charm and imagination, in such a way that she seems to reveal the grace of her personality as well as the grace of movement… Moreover, she wants those who are perhaps put off by the grand portals of the Royal Opera House to enjoy the pleasures that ballet affords’.

Darcey Bussell has featured in many TV shows and documentaries and is due to appear as a guest judge on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing later this year.