Joseph (Joey) Taylor moved from Dubai to train at Elmhurst Ballet School and straight out of graduating, Birmingham Royal Ballet have offered him a place in their company.
Growing up in Dubai, Joey’s sister was taking classes at the local dance school and when he went to watch their dance production, he completely fell in love with dance. “I watched everyone do all the movements in sync, so perfectly timed and I was fascinated in how they did that,” he said. “I instantly wanted to learn how to dance so I started going to class with my sister and I just never stopped.”
The first time Joey moved to the UK was for Elmhurst when he was 18. “I grew up in a very British community so it was similar to growing up in England, just with a bit more sun,” he laughed. “The dance scene in Dubai is very up and coming. When I first started dancing there really weren’t many ballet productions coming to Dubai but their theatre scene has really grown.”
Only originally learning ballet to supplement his jazz and hip-hop training, Joey’s teacher advised him to take up ballet for his strength and coordination. “I started going once a week but I really loved the challenge of it so I started taking it really seriously,” he said. “I think I always had the ballet dancer mentality but it wasn’t put into action until I came to Elmhurst.”
Joining one of the most prestigious companies in the world, Joey is over the moon to be working with Birmingham Royal Ballet. “I’ve worked with them as a student but it is amazing to feel actually part of the company. We always knew there was the opportunity to get the apprenticeship at Birmingham Royal Ballet, but I always convinced myself it wouldn’t happen so continued to go out and audition, which was a great experience,” he said. “Although I was really happy with the job offers I had, there was a part of me that always really wanted to work with BRB. I just remember not even believing it, I was so excited.
“I am really looking forward to getting to know the dancers there as a co-worker and company member as opposed to a student. Every time I’ve been it has really been a family vibe and I really enjoy that and I’m excited to dance alongside some of the best dancers in Europe and learn from them. I can’t wait to dance on stages like the Birmingham Hippodrome.”
When it comes to dream roles, Joey always dreamed of playing the Prince in Cinderella. “I did a walk-on role for the show once and the music of that pas de deux is just breathtaking,” he said. “Another role I’d love is either Hamlet or Petruchio in Shakespeare Suite as it’s such a jazzy number and I love that aspect of acting in it.”
Having come from a jazz and hip-hop background, as much as he adores ballet Joey is still keen to explore different styles of dance. “Although most of my training is in ballet, whenever I do a jazz piece it feels so natural to me,” he explained. “That is why BRB is such a perfect fit, as much as I love ballet I really love doing everything so the fact they really mix it up is right up my alley.”
Photo credit // Johan Persson