Peter Keup, born in 1958 in Radebeul, worked as a successful ballroom dancer and represented the GDR in numerous championships. He hoped to participate in dance competitions in the West in order to further his career.
In July 1981, Keup attempted to escape via Czechoslovakia but failed. He was convicted of illegal emigration and sentenced to ten months' imprisonment. The FRG paid the GDR for the release of prisoners to the West, and Keup was freed in March 1982.