Kevin takes long road to New York

In a backyard shed in Morley, a seven-year-old Kevin Jackson took part in his first dance class, thrilled he had managed to talk his mother into allowing him lessons.

Jackson has fond memories of his first tap class with Shirley Farrell Academy of Dance 20 years ago.

He insisted on joining them after seeing his cousin perform in a dancing concert.

Next month, the 29-year-old's dancing feet will perform on a stage touched by only a few Australian dancers. He will become only the second Australian Ballet dancer to be a guest artist with the American Ballet Theatre.

The principal artist will be the first Australian Ballet performer in 21 years to perform with the prestigious US company, as Des Grieux in Manon.

Jackson was chosen by Australian Ballet's artistic director David McAllister for the role, which he recently filled during the company's Eastern States performances of the ballet.

"My jaw dropped and I was just staring at him and saying 'are you crazy'," Jackson said.

"He said 'you're our best and it's the perfect role for you' and I was just laughing at myself and looking in the mirror thinking 'this is just unbelievable'."

The Perth-born dancer, who now lives in Sydney, is flying to New York this weekend to rehearse for two performances with the ABT next month.

He said he would perform alongside some of the world's top ballet talent and learn from world-renowned coaches.

The West Australian

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