Local Face: Gregory Dean

  |  Published: Mar 1st 2009

Gregory Dean was born in Queen Charlotte’s Hospital, London, on 14 October 1984 (a younger brother for Patrick and Jessica). Ten days later the family moved to Buckinghamshire.

It was by chance that when he was 6 years old, a school friend’s mum had paid a full term’s fees for ballet class at the Monzani School of Dance in Amersham for her son who was having none of it. Gregory filled the place and just loved it.

When he was 8, the family moved to Wendover where he attended Wendover Middle School as did his younger brother, William.

In 1995 the Daily Telegraph published an article entitled “Step Forward for Ballet, boys”, reporting on an English National Ballet’s open day for boys at the Royal Festival Hall. Pre-dating the popular Billy Elliot story, Gregory is quoted as saying, “I’ve always been the only boy and my teachers are women.” Gregory attended the Tring Arts Educational School as a Junior Associate (whilst continuing classes in Amersham). At 15 he successfully auditioned for National Youth Ballet and had his first taste of performing in professional theatres with a gala performance in Sadler’s Wells.

Funding children through their various activities can be quite difficult so Gregory was grateful for the financial support of the Wendover Community Trust, which eased the burden placed on the family budget.

In 2001, Gregory danced in the Musical for the Millennium, Hopes and Dreams in St Mary’s Church. He also assisted with the choreography.

Having attended Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School where he gained A grades in 10 GCSEs he was fortunate to gain a dance scholarship for Tring Arts Ed where he was trained by Miss Wright and Miss Warner (also of Wendover). Once the academic years were completed, the school generously offered him dance classes while he started the process of auditioning for dance companies.

His first dance contract was for 2 years with Ballett Vorpommern in East Germany. In January 2005, he successfully auditioned for Scottish Ballet and was soon dancing principal roles: Prince in both Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, plus the title roles in Othello and Apollo. With Scottish Ballet came the excitement of taking part in the Edinburgh Festival.

In April 2007 Lyndsey Winship of the Telegraph wrote “ - The young dancer Gregory Dean is one to watch, his limbs like taut elastic”. This phrase caused much family hilarity.

In the Aberdeen Evening Express of 13 September 2007 he is quoted as saying “At school, I wasn’t pushed to the foreground - I wasn’t one of the stars of the school. I was always a corps de ballet dancer and I never imagined myself doing any of the principal roles; then suddenly you’re there and you have to do it and it’s great!”

In August 2008 Gregory joined the Royal Danish Ballet whose workplace is the Royal Opera House, Copenhagen. So far he has performed in Nutcracker, and as Paris in Romeo and Juliet. Now fluent in German and French, getting by in Spanish and Danish, Gregory still regards Wendover as “home”.

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