Head Over Heels

Eugene Balla

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”.

To read the rest of this article, see The Stage and Television Today

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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