Hello again!

I have spent some time recently thinking about my past! Nothing sordid or morbid I can assure you! This reflection was prompted by catching up with some of the gang from days at the SACAE in Adelaide, (the first Tertiary dance course in Australia). We chatted and reminisced about the old days, as you do, and did the “whatever happened to so & so?!” thing. Fabulous!

So on return home I did what we all do in these situations, I Googled! One thing led to another and I found an amazing site,


Amazing for me as Mr Reid was my first Artistic Director and the woman they are describing is exactly as I remember her!

I was a scared 17 year old, my first professional gig with The Dance Centre Company and terrified of everything & everyone. It was an exotic world full of larger than life characters even in the dingy studios at Whitmore Square in Adelaide. Freezing cold winters, a slight rake to the floor and nobody wanted to stand in front of the “fat” mirror! Everyday class started with Mr Reid’s warmup and dear old Roger banging away on the piano all the while pulling faces and being generally, well, naughty!


Mr Reid would sometimes bring Madame Kirsta to watch class. A tiny terrifying woman with a strong (and glorious!) Russian accent, bright red fingernails, a cane, a grey streak in her hair and yes, as the article describes, she did smoke constantly! “Dahlink, light my cigarette” she would growl, holding out the Camels! And you would, half in awe, half in terror! She would sit and scrutinize class, hands like talons crossed over the top of her cane, growling to Mr Reid, “Rex, she has feet like carpet slippers! Why is she here!” Mr Reid would shush her “oh Natasha, hush”

We would hear the stories of how they met & the adventures they had, from starting a ballet company in England and touring the Middle East, to Madame pulling jewels and gifts from the girls before they boarded the trains! Even one of Mr Reid being smuggled out of the country rolled in a carpet! (Grain of salt required with that one methinks!!)

I do regret not having the forethought, or courage, to spend more time hearing more stories and asking questions or just spending the time with her.

Please use the link to read some of her amazing story, and please let me know if you knew Madame or Rex!

Take some time to investigate your own timeline, you might be surprised to hear the journey people have been on and how they came to be who they are and how they came to you.

Enjoy, the story!

Hope you have a Joyous Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!



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