At the age of 18, David required his parent's permission to travel to London. Papers in hand, he made the trip, via steamer, his first of many trips across "the pond". Adapting was a major challenge, both in terms of the culture and in terms of his size.
Within weeks of his arrival in England, David had been propositioned by several young men ("welcome to London") and had also been served with his draft papers. He argued both, and was successful in establishing he was there to dance, not anything else. The draft board gave him two years grace ... which was the limit to his tour of Europe.
"Each Sunday there was the dreaded train journey," says David. "The train was always late leaving the station, and the journey, no matter how long or short, took hours. I was told in no uncertain terms that it was--'because of the WAR'
"The war that had only finished a short time ago, was still very much in evidence.
'London was quite messy. Shattered buildings, huge cavities where the rocket bombs had landed. Building held up by timbers, but just barely. Even to machine gun holes in Street lamps in East Sheen in London where I lived. The German fighter planes had machine gunned the streets. Made me grateful for not having been there during the event.
"In central London, St. Paulís Cathedral, standing unscathed, but everything around it, devastated. The German bombers apparently could not aim their bombs so as to make a direct hit, something to do with the shape of the dome.
"This atmosphere does not seem conducive to any kind of theatrical life, but there was so much going on, so much to see, that the rubble faded into the background."
David spoke of his time with the Metropolitan ballet as “the most incredible 18 months” of his life More
Vera Volkova’s International Ballet School was a mecca for professional dancers, whether London residents or visiting artists More