I spent a lot of time with my grandmother as a little girl, because my dad was away at the war. She lived in a lovely old flat across the road from Manly beach, and in her dining room area she had one of those wonderful, big, old wooden radios, about three feet high. From as soon as I was old enough to reach the knobs, I would turn the radio on.

As I grew up and started to dance, I would go back and forth to find any music I could move to on the various stations. There was a wonderful piece called Holiday for Strings. I have no idea who wrote it, but it had a lot of violins and it made you want to pirouette, which I would do all over my grandmother’s carpet. As the years went by, she’d say to me “darling, if you’re going to do this for a living, I do hope you’ll make a success of it because you haveto replace this carpet.”

Nancye Hayes Nancy Hayes

She would also take me to the theatre. I was introduced to musicals through Evie Hayes in...