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Their onstage talents are as hard to separate as the men themselves. In 2009, Jacob was named America’s Teen Male Dancer of the Year. His brother was the runner-up.

“I was so proud. My own brother was the winner,” says David.

Jacob had a different reaction: “When I got announced the winner, I was so happy,” he says. “But, at the same time, I’m like, `Wow. My brother just fell short of the prize.’”

The next year, David captured the title, which was handed over by his brother. The next year, Jacob won the prestigious title of America’s Male Dancer of the Year.

“I think what’s great about having a twin like this is I’m pushing him and he’s pushing me, so it’s forcing us both to be better,” says Jacob. “We get to where we can be the best we can be.”


Jacob and David auditioned for “Newsies,” but there was good news and bad news. The good: One of them made it. The bad: Only one of them made it.

The boys declined to find out who had made the cut.

And they declined the offer.

“Obviously there’s going to be a point in time where one of us is going to get a job and one of us is not. So we said, `You know, let’s finish our senior year and wait until we graduate high school and then we can start splitting up,’” says David. “So we actually turned them down the first time, which is crazy to think about: turning down Broadway.”

Producers soon called back with word that two spots had opened up.

“Everything panned out perfectly. We thought once we said no it was going to be like, `That’s done with. We’ll never hear from them again,’” says Jacob. “But it just happened to work out to our benefit.”

The Disney musical is based on the true story of scrappy child newspaper sellers in turn-of-the-century New York who go on strike when the price of papers goes up unfairly. They battle scabs, crooked officials and fearsome strikebreakers carrying metal pipes. The twins jumped aboard last month.

David plays a newsboy called Mush and Jacob plays a scab. Both also sing in the ensemble, no easy feat since they’re also dancing to Christopher Gattelli’s muscular, Tony Award-winning choreography.

Both carve out time to take their senior classes online and plan to walk with their class this spring for graduation. Then there’s college _ they’d love to room together _ and, hopefully, have a spot in a dance company. Make that two spots.

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