When I call my three-year-old daughter “sossidge”, I am echoing the broken English of a man who coaxed back flips, somersaults and devotion from generations of eager students.
Eugene Balla was 92 when he died in April this year, teaching acrobatics right up to the last few months of his life.
He moved to Britain from Hungary more than 70 years ago but still sounded like he had just got off the boat. Students who did not put enough spring into their somersaults were affectionately labelled a “sossidge”.
I was not Cathy, I was “Kutty”. Amanda was “Mondy”, Debs was “Debbie” and 17-year old Jonathon started his performing life as “Jennifer”.
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