Romance over for dancers

By Rebecca Lewis

Michael Braun and Katie Hurst-Saxon in a production of Carmen. Photo / Maarten Holl
Michael Braun and Katie Hurst-Saxon in a production of Carmen. Photo / Maarten Holl

Controversial ballet couple Michael Braun and Katie Hurst-Saxon have become fly-on-the-wall TV stars after revealing to the cameras how he left his wife and three children for his dance partner.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet dancers have helped make TV3's The Secret Lives of Dancers a ratings hit, beating the long-running soap Coronation Street in its time slot.

On the pre-recorded Wednesday evening primetime show, they are getting "snuggly" together - outraging viewers and fellow dancers.

But they have now split up, the Herald on Sunday has learned. And Braun - one of the Royal New Zealand Ballet's leading dancers - has quit the company to follow his family to Australia.

He remains separated from his wife, but has moved to Brisbane to be with his children.

Hurst-Saxton spoke candidly about her personal life: "My relationship with Michael was my second relationship inside the company," she said.

"You're around these people all day, every day. And with dance you often have to get quite close. It can get quite snuggly."

Hurst-Saxton, who has been with the company for nine years, said she and Michael started "unofficially" dating when they were paired together for Giselle.

It soon turned into something a bit deeper but the pair refused to "label" it.

"We were together unofficially because when you stick a label on something it's doomed," she said.

"But he found it hard being away from his kids and I got upset when he went away to see them.

"I told him he needed to go home and be a dad and sort his life out, so he's back in Brisbane now."

- Herald on Sunday

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