Full disclosure: we’ve been trying to get hold of Australian export to the ’Kong, David Klar, for a while – especially with a view to complementing last month’s Prestige cover story with star international dancer Roberto Bolle. But the new dad, teacher, occasional model and multiple-award-winning dancer is not one to be pinned down easily.
“Sorry mate, in Rome,” was his succinct voice message after 19 missed calls, several e-mails and frantic smoke signals sent his way. He was on a flight, his shows take up time, his lessons too (he teaches, learns, practises) and he has an infant son who demands all his remaining attention and who he’s devoted to as a single father. As the song goes, every day he’s hustling … and jiving, doing the rumba, foxtrot and waltz.
“I started dancing at the age of three,” he says when we meet at last. “Mummy dearest pushed me into ballet, jazz and tap dancing, but I’m very grateful for that. At age 10, I started ballroom dancing. It was a bit cooler to dance with a girl – and not have to wear ballet tights!”
He earned a Diploma of Dance after two years at the Queensland Dance School of Excellence in Brisbane, after which, “I studied two years of business at university before dropping out and following my dancing career overseas.”
This November it’ll be seven years in Hong Kong, and these days he can be found at Dansinn dance studio in Sheung Wan, where he teaches ballroom dancing. “Ballroom dance consists of five primary dances that are danced as a couple: waltz, foxtrot, tango, quickstep and the Viennese waltz. It may not be easy, but it’s fun.”
Klar has picked up a few tokens along the way that testify to his exceptional talent: winner of the Australian Professional Ballroom Championships (Melbourne, 2015), finalist at the WDC World 10-Dance Championships (Miami, 2015) and finalist at the Professional Rising Star Ballroom International Championships (London, 2017).
“In the near future I look to further my dancing career as a teacher in Hong Kong as well as a competitor on the international scene,” he says. “Coming up next month is the Blackpool Dance Festival, which I’m very much looking forward to. It’s the biggest open competition with a long history dating back to the 1920s, the dancing equivalent to tennis’s Wimbledon. I’m not anxious, but excited. Well, a combination of both.”