How different life might have been if Jackie hadn’t been doing the Professional Dancer’s Teaching Certificate at the RAD in 1986 when I had my first job there. I played for some of her classes, we got on, she liked the way I played, I liked the way she taught, and one Sunday afternoon, she invited me to meet some people from ENB (or Festival Ballet, as it was then), including one of the pianists. Sooner or later, I was invited to play for a company class, and over the next three years, I freelanced at ENB and fell in love with the company, its dancers, and everything it stood for.
Is it any wonder? After class one day, I stayed to watch Lynn Seymour rehearsing Anastasia since I had a couple of hours to kill. One evening, Peter Schaufuss asked me if I would mind terribly staying on another hour so that he and Lynn could rehearse Romeo & Juliet. One legend after an other walked in and out of those studios, and although it was often years before I realised just how lucky I was to have been there, there was a constant electrical charge from all the talent & artistry.