Their love story sounds like something out of a classic fairytale.
They met 25 years ago, when they danced the parts of Romeo and Juliet in a state theatre production in Germany.
In the years that followed, they danced as partners on stages across Europe.
Once the curtain had been drawn on their stage careers, they went on to become high-profile directors of five ballet companies.
They choreographed hundreds of ballets that are still performed in many state theatres across Europe.
And their happily ever after?
Well, they ended up in this magnificent part of the world of course.
After relocating recently to the Sunshine Coast, professional dancers Deborah Leader and her husband and dance partner Richard have opened a new and innovative dance school at Peregian Springs.
The English pair followed family and immigrated to Australia three years ago.
They worked in dance schools in New South Wales and Canberra before deciding to move north to the Sunshine Coast.
Ms Leader, who performed on stage as Deborah Preece-Brocksom, said she and Richard looked from Adelaide to Cairns for the right place to call home.
“We were searching for where we would like to settle for the rest of our lives,” she said.
“We have typical dancers’ bodies and the climate and the sea here is very beneficial.”
Ms Leader said some of her fondest memories as a professional ballerina were their tours of Russia in the early 1990s.
“I loved touring, especially challenging countries like Russia, in the times where we couldn’t get anything to eat and still had to perform every night,” she said.
While she misses the adrenaline rush of performing in front of thousands of people, Ms Leader does not miss the hours spent sewing ribbons on pointe shoes.
She said it was her husband’s flawless technique that drew them together romantically during the Romeo and Juliet production all those years ago.
“He was the most wonderful partner,” Ms Leader said.
“During the intense rehearsals we certainly fell in love.”
After their initial performance as a couple, they did everything together for the remainder of their ballet lives, Ms Leader said.
That trend is set to continue, until they eventually pass their ballet school on to their daughter.
The new dance centre, located in a studio in Belgownie Drive, Peregian Springs, opened last Sunday.
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