Janos Szabo has taken centre stage on some of the world’s greatest platforms. But when he returns to his old stomping ground at the Hungarian National Ballet Company Mr Szabo’s knees will be shaking.

“I have the privilege of going back to my old ballet company where I danced for 13 years and train the students and it’s daunting because you have 60 professional dancers facing you, so your knees start to wobble,” Mr Szabo said. “And now I have this funny mixture of Hungarian and English accents so that makes it interesting.” Mr Szabo left the Hungarian National Ballet in 1995 and in 2009 he took over the reins of the iconic East Maitland Dance Academy following the death of Maitland dance dame Daphne Parker.

The academy will present a medley of La fille mal gardee (loosely translated to The Wayward Girl) at the Maitland Town Hall on December 9. The performance will be dedicated to Miss Parker. “The day after the concert I will travel back to my fatherland – it’s called fatherland in my language – and it’s very exciting . .. it’s been a while,” Mr Szabo said. “I have butterflies about going back, it’s adrenalin and it’s a little bit like when you perform because you do perform, just not on the stage.”