Serge Oukrainsky was born in 1885, in Odessa, Russia. He trained in Paris with Ivan Clustine and first appeared as a mime at the Théâtre du Châtelet in 1911. He danced with Pavlova's company from 1913 to 1915 as both soloist and one of Pavlova's partners, and occasional costume designer.
After leaving the company he moved to Chicago, where he formed the Pavley-Oukrainsky Ballet with his partner Andreas Pavley, and from 1917 was also principal dancer, choreographer and director of the Chicago Opera Ballet until 1927, at the same time establishing with Andreas Pavley the Pavley-Oukrainsky School of Ballet. Oukrainsky moved to California in 1927, where he served as ballet master to the San Francisco and Los Angeles operas until 1931. After Pavley's mysterious death in 1931 he formed the Serge Oukrainsky Ballet, and began to teach in Hollywood in 1934. He died in 1972.
His book tells the story of his early life and initial training and of his dancing career and sometimes difficult relationship with Pavlova.