The Ballet Twins

JOSHUA & LAURIE MCSHERRY-GRAY

  

The Ballet Twins

While our lives are committed to the stage, behind the scenes play an equal role. Joshua & Laurie highlight the unseen and unknown, connecting a global audience of dance enthusiasts digitally. Our mission is to create a community, providing information and inspiration for all. A hub that we would have loved access to as our younger selves.

 

 

"WHEN YOU STRUGGLE TO READ AND WRITE YOU CAN LOSE ALL CONFIDENCE.”

We were born in Kingston upon Hull, a city in East Yorkshire, England. As twins with dyslexia, we found ourselves struggling in school from a very young age. So our parents decided to homeschool us instead.

Homeschooling allowed us to discover subjects that aligned with our strengths. It also made it possible for us to visit the dyslexia institute regularly for help in academia.

 

 

"QUITE BY ACCIDENT WE DISCOVERED HOW ARTISTIC WE ARE.”

Our parents encouraged us to take part in creative activities. Something challenging, both physically and imaginatively. So we attended workshops of all sorts in the surrounding areas. Things like drama, science conventions, dance classes, circus workshops, and some mime activities.

Soon we both started dancing and attending music lessons frequently. It was a turning point in our education - quite by accident we discovered how artistic we were!

Our first exposure to a live ballet performance intrigued us immensely. We still remember the smell of dry ice billowing over the orchestra pit, the transitional stage sets, and the mysterious stories. Right then we knew we had to be a part of this world.

 

 

 

"THE WORLD AT OUR FEET.”

At fourteen, we joined a local dance school where we got a great deal of attention. Why? Because where we come from, boys don’t do ballet!

After a year of weekly classes, we auditioned for scholarships and won many grants. Thus began our weekly journey to Manchester, Leeds, and York for further training.

At sixteen we gained places in Central School of Ballet in London. It was our first time living on our own in a vibrant new city, training full-time with boys our own age. It was a significant change in our lives and we loved it.

We then became compelled to audition for The Royal Ballet Upper School in Covent Garden. This proved a real challenge as we were competing against boys of an exceptional standard. Many of those boys had trained full-time from the age of eleven at the Lower School.

A test for flexibility along with measurements in both height and proportions were a part of our rigorous assessment. Fortunately, we were both able to secure a place at the Royal Ballet Upper School. It was everything we had hoped for!

We trained there for two years, graduating in the year 2008.

 

  

 

"WE BECAME WORLD CLASS DANCERS.”

Upon graduation, we both received full-time contracts with the Royal New Zealand Ballet. It wasn't long before we were on the plane to the capital city, Wellington, to take our first steps as professional ballet dancers.

Our flourishing careers took us on separate paths to dance in renowned companies. Joshua is currently working at English National Ballet in London where he has danced for the past eight years. Laurie is also based in London now. He was a soloist for six years with the Royal Ballet of Flanders in Belgium before that.

 

 

Our featured roles include:

 Lensky - Onegin by John Cranko, Male Principal - Second Breath by Russell MaliphantLead BanditCarmen by Roland Petit, EnsemblePlaylist by William Forsythe, DominiqueCafé Müller by Pina Bausch, 4th SoloistSong of the Earth by Kenneth MacMillan, FaunL’apres midi du’n faune by Vaslav Nijinsky, The TableBoléro by Maurice Béjart, NeapolitanSwan Lake by Derek Deane, BenvolioRomeo and Juliet by Slava Samodurov, Soloist GroomPetrushka by Michel Fokine, Nutcracker - The Nutcracker by Demis Volpi, Soloist EscortsCoppelia by Ronald Hynd, DuetDialoog by Jeanne Brabants and Soloist Men Études by Herald Land 

  

Our career highlights include:

 The Rite of Spring by Kenneth MacMillan, Danse à Grande Vitesse by Christopher Wheeldon, Infra by Wayne McGregor, Cinderella by Michael Corder, Giselle by Akram Khan, Le Sacre du Printemps by Glen Tetley, The Sleeping Beauty by Kenneth MacMillan, Spartacus by Yuri Grigorovich, Scheherazade by Michel Fokine, Four Schumann Pieces by Hans van Manen, L’Arlésienne by Roland Petit, Forgotten Land by Jiri Kylian, Le Sacre du Printemps by Pina Bausch, Green Table by Kurt Jooss, Romeo & Juliet by Rudolf Nureyev, Who Cares? By George Balanchine, Lest We Forget by Liam Scarlett, Tyll by Alexander Ekman, Polyphoniaby Christopher Wheeldon, Made Man by Nicolo Fonte, Bruch Violin Concerto by Clark Tippet, The Return of Ulysses by Christian Spuck, Snow Queen by Michael Corder, Men Y Men Wayne Eagling, Sleeping Beauty by Marius Petipa, Firebird by Michel Fokine, The Nutcracker by Christopher Hampson, Dust by Akram Khan and Manon by Kenneth MacMillan

 

We are so grateful to our audience. Our passion is fuelled by your enthusiasm and this brings us so much joy! 

Joshua & Laurie

TheBalletTwins