Darcey Andrea Bussell (born Marnie Mercedes Darcey Pemberton Crittle on April 27, 1969) is a retired English ballerina.
Trained at the Arts Educational School and the Royal Ballet School, she started her professional ballet career at Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet, but after only one year she moved to the Royal Ballet, where she became a principal dancer at just 20 years old in 1989.
Bussell is widely acclaimed as one of the great British ballerinas. She remained with the Royal Ballet for her whole career, but also performed as a guest artist with many leading ballet companies around the world including NYCB, the Kirov and the Australian Ballet. Since retiring from ballet in 2007, Bussell remains very committed to the dance world. In 2012 she became the President of the Royal Academy of Dance. She is the Patron of the Sydney Dance Company, the Du Boisson Foundation and is the President of the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s fund raising appeal. She is a patron of the International Dance Teachers Association, Cecchetti UK, Cecchetti Australia, Dance Teachers’ Benevolent Fund UK and the New English Ballet Theater. She is an ambassador for the giving program of the New Zealand School of Dance and is on the board of the Margot Fonteyn Foundation. In 2012 Bussell joined the judging panel of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. She is a patron of the medical charities Sight for All, Borne and the Henry Spink Foundation. She is a Gold Medal recipient from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.