INSPIRED BY BALANCE: MEET JOSHUA THEW
The New York City Ballet dancer on balancing life, art, and style.
Balance. It’s at the core of ballet. But so is strength, and determination, and dedication: all things we see in spades in this British dancer with the shaggy blond hair. Joshua Thew, originally from Hartfordshire, outside of London, joined the New York City Ballet in 2008. He has been a member of the corps de ballet ever since, so it came as somewhat of a surprise when we discovered that he’s also a classically trained singer. An extra helping of talent plus many years of hard work and dedication? That’s what you’ll find in Joshua Thew; plus his soulful, expressive performances of blues and pop favorites will leave you breathless.
How old were you when you started dancing and what made you want to be a dancer?
I was 10. I went to an art school to sing, and they had a really strong dance program, and I sort of fell into it. It just happened organically. It wasn’t ever like I knew I wanted to be a dancer.
Do you dance primarily ballet now?
Oh, yeah! When I was just becoming professional I still did other styles, but since I’ve been at the company I’m too exhausted to do anything else. When I’m not at work I want to get as far away from exercising as possible. I do not want to go to the gym, I just want to watch TV!
Ballet has such a rich history. What’s your relationship to that?
I’m very inspired to work where I work. We’re preserving something that was made a long time ago, and there’s something really special about that; especially in this day and age where fame and entertainment has changed so much. It feels special and important to be part of something that’s bigger than myself.
How are your musical career and dance career connected?
They’re totally different. I think singing is personally the thing that I’m most naturally gifted at, but it’s always been something I’ve put on the back burner. It’s only recently that I’ve started taking it seriously. I feel like it’s scarier for me to sing in front of people, but I actually feel a lot freer and a lot more like myself than when I do ballet. I’m not one of the assertive, confident dancers, whereas with singing I’m more myself.
How do you think these passions effect your personal style?
We have a huge range of costumes and designers who collaborate with the company, and I think that has influenced me. I like a lot of Japanese designers, especially for men. I think it looks great when someone looks really comfortable, it can be very sexy.
Are there any people in your life that influence the way you dress?
I have some friends who are really stylish and they definitely influence the way I dress. Ex-boyfriends have honestly influenced the way I dress. People that I’ve had close relationships with influence me more than what I see in a magazine or a fashion show.
Is there anything from popular culture that influences your style?
Movies inspire how I dress. It sounds weird: it’s not necessarily costumes, but the overall color palette of a movie: it just really influences me.
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