Nobody could have failed to be moved by Darcey Bussell's farewell to the stage in 2007. It seemed more an outpouring of grief than a sad farewell. She told The Sunday Times,
My God, I cracked. I just wanted to do the show really well, so that I'd be happy to finish. But I just bawled. It was pathetic.
Bussell then set off with her husband and children to Australia. But she wasn't ready to leave dance and London.
I got depressed. I didn't appreciate how low I got. My husband did. He said, ‘You know, Darcey, you're better when you're busy.' I thought it was weakness to show you couldn't cope.
How very British. She sums up her stiff upper lip attitude:
You still have to get on with the show. I had friends who wouldn't smile for a whole day, but I had been brought up not to make other people feel bad just because you do.
It was dance that got Darcey smiling as she started classes again in Australia.
As soon as I was moving, I was happy. It didn't have to be about perfection. There are so many styles to enjoy.
Now the family have moved back to London and she is slowly returning in the public eye. She has become president of the Royal Academy of Dance, the first ever face of the new anti-ageing Sanctuary Spa skincare range, and is on the judging panel on Strictly Come Dancing.
Next up she'll be in front of the biggest audience of her career. Billions of people. Playing a phoenix, she will rise during the Olympic closing ceremony, doing what she was born to do… dance.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.