Dame Darcey Andrea Bussell,(born Marnie Mercedes Darcey Pemberton Crittle; 27 April 1969) is an English retired ballerina and a former judge on the BBC television dance contest Strictly Come Dancing.
Trained at the Arts Educational School and the Royal Ballet School, Bussell started her professional career at Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet, but after only one year she moved to the Royal Ballet, where she became a principal dancer at the age of 20 in 1989. Bussell is widely acclaimed as one of the great British ballerinas.
Bussell remained with The Royal Ballet for her whole career, more than two decades, but also performed as a guest artist with many leading companies including NYCB, La Scala Theatre Ballet, the Kirov Ballet, Hamburg Ballet and the Australian Ballet. She retired from ballet in 2007.
Bussell is also pursuing parallel careers in television, books and modelling, and supports numerous British and international charities and dance institutions.