“Who would have thought that a daggy little kid showing off on a septic tank in suburban Perth would one day have dessert with a princess?’ is just one of myriad funny recollections in this most engaging memoir from David McAllisterSoar – A Life Freed by Dance. He was at supper with Princess Diana, trying to chop into a frozen sorbet with a knife, after a gala performance by The Australian Ballet(TAB) at London’s Coliseum in 1992.

The “daggy little kid,” a vivacious, hyperkinetic, strong-willed one, was born into a loving Perth family that accommodated his obsession for dancing and creative fantasies. This obsession escalated when his Granny took him to His Majesty’s Theatre to see TAB’s sumptuous Cinderella,with Australian icon, Kelvin Coe, as the prince. Soon the star-struck seven-year-old took his first class dressed in Jiffies, footie shorts and T-shirt. From then on, he seemed to get whatever he wanted: he joined The Australian Ballet School Melbourne in 1981, and in 1983 was seconded to the company with good friend Steven Heathcote. Neither returned to...

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