Almanac

Arts & Entertainment - January 22, 2014

Atherton: Clark Griffin wins young artist dance award

by Jane Knoerle

Clark Griffin of Atherton, who started dancing at age 14, has been selected as a 2014 YoungArts Merit Winner in ballet.

Out of more than 11,000 applicants from students in the arts, Clark is one of the 687 winners considered to be the most promising young artists in America today, according to Paul T. Lehr, president of the National YoungArts Foundation.

Clark, 17, is a senior at Crystal Springs Upland School. After taking karate and gymnastics, he became interested in dance from watching the TV show, "So You Think You Can Dance."

"I'd like to try that," he told his mom, Linda Griffin.

He started ballet at the Menlo Park Academy of Dance, where teacher Leyla Boissonnade took him under her wing, pairing him with girls who had been dancing since they were 3. He currently studies with Ms. Boissonnade at the Bay Area Dance School in Los Altos.

Clark has attended summer dance programs at the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet West in Salt Lake City, and Juilliard in New York City. A senior, he has applied to several different colleges. He is interested in computer science and engineering, but still wants to keep up with dancing, says Ms Griffin.

The National YoungArts Foundation is a Miami-based organization established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison. Its purpose is to identify the next generation of artists and to support their development through monetary awards, college scholarship, and enabling them to work with master teachers.

To date, young artists (ages 15-18) have received more than $6 million in awards, $150 million in scholarships, and the opportunity to work with such artists as Placido Domingo, Frank Gehry, Quincy Jones, Robert Redford and Martin Scorsese.

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