We delighted that Hampshire Youth Dance Company (HYDC) dancer Rory Clarke has been selected to join the National Youth Dance Company (NYDC).
Rory battled through a number of online auditions to gain a coveted place with the company. Competition for places in the company is tough and Rory is one of just eight male dancers and 13 female dancers chosen to join the 2020/2021 cohort. They will be part of a brand-new creation by NYDC Guest Artistic Director Alesandra Seutin.
HYDC Rehearsal Director Tory East chatted with Rory to find out what he had to say about this exciting news...
Due to Covid, the audition rounds for NYDC where online, how did you find that challenge? Did you feel prepared?
As with all auditions there is some stress and anxiety but I think the fact that the audition was well into the covid era meant that I was quite used to online classes. Largely thanks to Tory keeping HYDC going online and organising video projects which allowed us to transition the rehearsal process online too. In terms of feeling prepared, I know that I have the knowledge I have but then I also know that everyone else has their own unique experience and information so as soon as the audition starts, all I can do is throw myself into it.
What are you most looking forward to about your NYDC experience?
I think the exciting thing about NYDC is that it takes on dancers from all dance backgrounds and from all over the country so everyone brings something new and fresh to the space which is really inspiring.
You've been HYDC for nearly 5yrs. How do you feel the training and opportunities with HYDC have supported and helped you in being successful in gaining a place in NYDC and some of your more recent experiences?
I definitely think that HYDC has had a bigger impact than I maybe even realise currently and I think that's the beauty of training in a sense. It has opened my eyes to a whole new sector in the dance world since I came from a street dance background. This has allowed me to play in both worlds separately and then also in the fusion of the two which has led to improvement in both areas.
Although this year the tour with both NYDC and HYDC will be very different, the opportunity to perform at so many venues with large varieties in stages will likely make me more used to the tour with NYDC.
How do you feel about your new role as company mentor and rehearsal assistant within HYDC? What most excites you about this?
I’m really excited about this new role in the company, it will definitely be a big challenge as its something completely new to me but I think it will be really fulfilling to play a part in developing some of the talent in the company!
What advice would you give to young people considering starting or trying dance?
For me the biggest thing to hold on to throughout dance is yourself. Take in as much as possible from every class and workshop you are lucky enough to attend and then filter out what doesn’t resonate with you and keep what really excites you. This way you are never trying to fit into someone else box and are completely honest in your dance. But obviously don’t just throw away all the technique, instead use it as your tool the same way a painter uses a paintbrush.
We wish Rory every success with his exciting new adventure with NYDC and are excited to follow his journey with NYDC.