Along with his proposal.
So through many, many steps Elmer found me and I was able to help him say to Christine, "You've been my everything and you've been my world for a long time.Will you marry me?" Even though what he'd planned to say was, "You've been my everything and you've been my world for a long time, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Together we have had so many amazing moments and accomplished so much. I cannot think of anyone better to spend the rest of my life with. Today, here and now, I would like to make sure we last forever. Christine Marie Clauss, will you marry me?"
But, he couldn't get that out. The supportive cheering from the crowd over-took the words.
As a choreographer, I usually have to delay the start of rehearsals waiting for performers to arrive from the five other places they needed to be or pry the dancers off the floor to painfully begin the process of "working" on a dance. But, with this project the dancers arrived early and began to rehearse before I even got there. Dancing full out every time and asking to run it over and over. It was precious and so much giddy fun.
When our art is not just for ourselves, but to express a higher purpose, the joy is increased exponentially.
So, I think it's saying yes to love.And trusting that you are equally loved by that person enough to get down on one knee. To humble yourself before the love of your life, plus your family who flew in, and a pack of dancing strangers...it makes me cry every time I think about it.
On August 5th, at 7:00 pm, the families and friends were hidden on the Hooter's balcony across the street. Elmer and Christine were casually walking down Mill Avenue in Tempe on their way to dinner. The dancers nervously awaited inconspicuously near the corner of Mill and 5th Avenue's. I was nearly catatonic with fear that the music wouldn't be loud enough, that the dancers would forget the steps they'd so carefully rehearsed, that I wouldn't get Elmer's message when he bent down to tie his shoe and surreptitiously text me "Go."And that Christine wouldn't be thrilled.
I got the text, the dancers mostly remembered, when Elmer jumped in to dance with us on the lyrics "It's like I waited my whole life for this one night - it's gonna be me and you forever - forever on the dance floor" Christine cautioned him not to jump in to the dance because he didn't know it, and when Elmer dropped to his knee, she put her hands to her face, thrilled.
The stunned Christine said yes, and all of our worlds got that much better because we got to be a part of the beginning of theirs.