Suffolk star of the dance

IPSWICH'S very own budding Billy Elliot is today looking towards a bright future in the world of dance. Former Castle Hill pupil Liam Scarlett, who's family live in Defoe Road, Ipswich, left the town when he was 11 to join the Royal Ballet School in London.

IPSWICH'S very own budding Billy Elliot is today looking towards a bright future in the world of dance.

Former Castle Hill pupil Liam Scarlett, who's family live in Defoe Road, Ipswich, left the town when he was 11 to join the Royal Ballet School in London.

And now 18-year-old Liam has made national headlines after choreographing a ballet entitled Monochromatic. Set to Prokofiev's first piano concerto the work was performed on the stage of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden to rave reviews.

Today Liam took time out from his studies at the prestigious school to speak to the Evening Star. He described his deeply held passion for what he does.

He said: "I have been dancing since I was four or five. Dancing is my life, I have always loved music. Dancing on stage is great, you can't help but smile and when you come off stage there is such a buzz that you cannot wait until the next time."

Liam, who lives with friends in London's Earls Court, said the routine at the school is demanding.

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"You have to love what you are doing. The day starts at 8.30am and ends at 6.30pm Monday to Saturday. It is a demanding routine both physically and mentally."

Liam said he was delighted with the reviews of his work. The Times newspaper described Liam as having an 'ease and energy that many experienced choreographers would envy'.

He said: "It was in the Telegraph, Independent and Times. You expect critics to be really quite harsh so I was really happy with what they said."

For the moment, however, Liam wants to concentrate on his dancing and perhaps turn to choreography later in life.

He said: "You have about 15 years for a dancing career and I want to fulfil my potential as a dancer. I especially like classical ballet.

"I am now entering my final year at the school and I would love to dance with the Royal Ballet."

To be likened to the Billy Elliot character is something Liam has got used to.

"Anything that gets people interested in Ballet is a good thing," he added.

Liam's father Laurence Scarlett is a garden designer.

He spoke of the pride has for his son.

"It is beyond my wildest expectations, sometimes I still do not believe it. I do not know where he gets it from although I am creative he is creative in a different way."

Amanda Moxey , communications and marketing manager for the Royal Ballet School, said Liam was a highly talented and gifted student.

"From an early age he has shown a phenomenal choreographic talent. Each year we have a choreography competition at the school.

"Liam has been at the forefront of the competition for many years he was asked to produce a piece for our end of year show."

Government funding pays for the £21,000-a-year fees that the school commands.

Ms Moxey said Liam's recent work displayed his exceptional talent.

"It was amazing, he is very gifted musically and as a dancer has a very good musical ear, he knows how to use music and that showed in Monochromatic."

Liam's talent is likely to catapult him into the world of international ballet.

Ms Moxey said: "I am sure he would like to have his own company and put on his own work, he has the talent to do it and I am sure he will be given the opportunity to continue with choreography."

Do you have a talented youngster in the family? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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