Four brothers – Ross, Russell, Ryan and Reece Clarke – have all attained success in dance through the Royal Ballet Outreach Programme.
Reece, who at 16 is the youngest of the four, is the latest to achieve his dancing ambitions, having recently become Young British Dancer of the Year.
He achieved the title in the competition – held at the Linbury Studio, Theatre Royal Opera House, London – after impressing the judges with his male solo performance taken from The Sleeping Beauty.
In total, 82 young dancers took part in this year’s competition, which was judged by Gary Avis, Deanne Bergsma and Zenaida Yanowsky.
As boys, all four brothers were enrolled in dancing lessons by their parents, in order to keep them out of mischief and off the streets. In an interview withRichmond Twickenham Times, their father, Robert, said, “There was a lot of crime in [Airdrie] and we wanted to engage them in something […] each weekend [they’d] travel to London for dance classes […] though, when we tried to get them up for school, we used to struggle.”
Talking about his own recent success, and explaining that the four brothers supported each other in their dancing endeavours, Reece told reporters, “My brothers were really happy for me […] we are all really supportive of each other.”
Speaking to the Scottish Daily Record, the 16-year-old added, “One of my brothers watched me in the competition and the other two, who are in America, have already sent ‘well done’ messages.”
Brothers of dance
Originally from Aidrie in Scotland, Reece and his brother Ryan (18) now live in Whitton, Twickenham, and both attend the Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden.
Russell (22) and Ross (20) both live in the US, in Phoenix, Arizona, where they are with the Ballet Arizona dance company.
Held annually since 2000, the Young British Dancer of the Year competition was set up to encourage young British dancing talent.