Born in Gisborne and raised in Pukekohe, Joseph Skelton started dancing at the age of four. He trained in the UK at the Elmhurst School of Dance and the Royal Ballet School. He returned to New Zealand to join the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2011 and toured the South Island in Tutus on Tour. In 2013, Joseph performed in the Act I Pas de Trois from Swan Lake in the historic surroundings of the Legislative Council Chamber at New Zealand’s historic parliament buildings in Wellington, in a special event to mark the RNZB’s 60th birthday.
In 2014, Joseph took on the role of Zoltan in the RNZB’s Coppélia, and followed this with solo roles in A Christmas Carol, Don Quixote and Salute. In 2015 he created the role of Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and made his debut as Albrecht in Giselle during the company’s tour to UK and Italy. 2016 saw Joseph in the demanding title role of The Wizard of Oz, together with his New Zealand debuts as Albrecht and Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a role he also performed in Hong Kong. He was subsequently invited to appear as Albrecht with both The Australian Ballet and the Greek National Opera Ballet, the latter opposite RNZB colleague Mayu Tanigaito.
Joseph’s portrayal of Romeo in Francesco Ventriglia’s 2017 production of Romeo and Juliet drew critical acclaim from seasoned dance reviewers in New Zealand and Australia. His performance of the principal role of Don José in Roland Petit’s Carmen earlier the same year garnered a similar response.