By Ingrid Piper
The Daily Telegraph
December 24, 2013
[Rooty Hill, New South Wales, Australia] – John Paul, Alexander and Daniel are elite ballet stars and while Rooty Hill may seem an unusual place to foster such talent, the trio began their careers going to local jazz, tap and ballet classes as preschoolers.
Oldest brother John Paul (27), a member of the Australian Ballet, has called Melbourne home since he join the Australian Ballet School as a16-year-old. 2013 has been a big year for John Paul; he’s recently married and became a homeowner.
Alexander (20) spent 2013 as a member of the Queensland Ballet but joins the Royal New Zealand Ballet next month, where he’s looking forward to reuniting with his girlfriend. Being professional dancers means the brothers have lived away from their family since their mid-teens, so this get together is a rare treat.
“Coming home means home cooked meals and Mum’s delicious cooking and having the family around like my sister Yvonne and my nephews”, Alexander says.
The boys credit their parents Elizabeth and John for encouraging and supporting their careers. “Mum always flies in for when I do special roles. Recently, I was the Prince in Nutcracker and she got up at 4am to fly to Brisbane to see me perform in a matinee and then I didn’t even get to see her because she had to catch a plane home. I love having her in the audience, it give me a real boost. Dad loves it too, and he’s a man of very few words,” Alexander says.
Following in the footsteps of his two older brothers, youngest brother Daniel (17) is a student at the prestigious Australian Ballet School where John Paul keeps an eye on him.
The only boy in the family not to dance is Michael; he tried ballroom dancing but settled instead for a career as a plumber.
As the ground breaker, John Paul says his Rooty Hill school days were difficult. “I’m not going to say it was easy time in my life; it wasn’t until I moved to McDonald College in Strathfield that they accepted me for who and what I was doing. It was massive burden off my shoulders not having to go to school worrying about what other people were thinking,” John Paul says.
“All that verbal stuff was damaging but you push through because you know what you love, and you do what you love, who cares what anybody else thinks really. It’s funny to think that in this day and age now, where dance is so accepted everywhere you go, they’re even doing it at school, to think back then how critical everyone was,” he says.
As a teenager, Alexander thought about becoming an AFL football player but decided to follow in John Paul’s footsteps. “I didn’t get teased. No one could really tell I was a dancer and I didn’t really put it out there but I was always interested in sport so that helped.”
Surprisingly, the brothers have never danced together. “It would be a dream for all three of us to dance one day together, wouldn’t that be weird”, John Paul says.
But these holidays, for a few days at least, John Paul says it’ll be a ballet-free zone in Rooty Hill.
Copyright 2013 News Ltd