Leave it to my man to kamikaze-crash my annual hoop dance performance with his own starring role! I love him for all the ways he shows his love for me!
Nick and I fell in love about a week after we met in 2011. I was in the final hour of producing my very first big group hoop performance for an NYC arts festival, and sight unseen, on our very first date, Nick offered to film the dance.
One week later, as I performed the dance I created, I realized that the love story woven into the dance was my very own love story come true. Here was my PERSON, I’d gathered all my people to welcome him into my life, and the name of the dance was “HELLO!” (Read the magick story in it’s entirety HERE!)
So moved by true love, I reprised HELLO the following year with 100 hoopers.We held a kickstarter to raise money for rehearsal space, dancer gifts, and a pro film crew to create beautiful documentation. “HELLO100” was a tremendous spectacle. All the hoopers wore solid colors, I wore white. Someone told me I looked like a bride! Production of the 100-hooper dance was intense, and though a celebration of TRUE LOVE, ironically, Nick and I experienced distance and strain as we learned each other’s needs for work/ life balance.
In 2013, I led 40 hoopers in “All is LOVE!”, the big group hoop dance now becoming an annual celebration of LOVE. I learned 3 days before performance that we happened to be scheduled at the same time and place as a Burning Man-esque wedding. Naturally, we folded the performance into the wedding, surprised the bride and groom, and roped the entire bridal party into the participatory ending of the piece! Dancing for the bride and groom that day, I knew my man would someday ask me to marry him at Figment.
In early 2014, I really wasn’t planning on bringing another big group dance to Figment. Nick and I had traded our decade-and-change in New York for the sunny skies and sky-scraping mountains of Colorado in late 2013. But, having so much interest, support and authentic LOVE pouring in from the NYC hooping community, I couldn’t help but get excited to plan another dance; and figure out how to direct from 2500 miles away!
I filmed the choreography and published it on YouTube, where my dancers would watch and learn from home. I had four rehearsal captains in NYC who then led and filmed rehearsals there. I’d receive their rehearsal footage online, and would then review and give notes to the group en masse via facebook event wall. I rehearsed with the group live in person for a week before Figment.
Meanwhile, Nick had been traveling for weeks, and I’d left Colorado before he returned. When we met up in New York just before Figment, we hadn’t seen each other in over a month, and he hadn’t been home for more than a handful days that entire year. Though the thought crossed my mind he might ask me that day, I quickly dismissed it because we’d both been SO busy. There was no possible way he could have planned anything.
Or so I thought…
At the end of our first (of three) performances, 50 hoopers and I took our bows. My head was full of notes for our next performance in an hour. Suddenly, all of my hoopers surrounded me, raising each of their hoops over my head in a canopy. I thought they were going to lay hoops over me in a tunnel as they’d done after a show in the past, but this time however, they held in canopy formation.
The music changed to The Dog Days Are Over, the anthem Nick and I have shared since falling in LOVE. My dancers lifted their hoops and expanded the circle, and out from behind the camera came my man, bouquet of white roses in hand.
He hugged me and congratulated me on another beautiful dance. He told me he loves me, and is so proud of me. At this point, I’m thinking I know what’s going on, but he hugs me again, and tells me how much he loves me. Again.
What I found out later was that he’d gotten my engagement ring stuck on his pinky finger! When it finally released, just moments later, he knelt down on one knee, took my hand, and asked me if I’d make him the happiest man ever, and share the rest of my life with him.
To which I replied, “DUH!!!”
And then properly replied, “YES!”
The crowd erupted in cheers. All my dancers were applauding, shaking their hoops overhead, tears in their eyes. My best girlfriend who “just stopped in” from Boston, popped out of the crowd with a bottle of prosecco.
And then it all became clear. All of my dancers were in on it, as well as our friends, at the ready with cameras, flowers, and bubbles. And here I thought it was so remarkable that all my hoopers (even the injured and sick!) were on time and ready to go, WELL before our call time! Check out the full cut of the dance, with special behind-the-scenes images from our big group rehearsals.
After the final performance, Nick and I caught the ferry back to Manhattan and retreated to our room to enjoy a celebratory meal and a glass of champagne. He played me the remix of The Dog Days that he’d searched HOURS for, as it got a little lost in the excitement of the moment. And as if I was hearing the song again for the very first time, I heard anew the lines, “Can you hear the horses, ’cause here they come!”
With tears rolling down my face, I had even more affirmation that Nick and I were meant for each other in this moment. “Baby!” I said, “Can you hear the HORSES! That’s US!” We were both born in the same year, The Year of the Horse, and here we were celebrating our engagement in 2014, The Year of the Horse. Watch out world, ’cause here we COME!!
Thank you so much for watching our video and reading our story. We definitely have our challenging times like any other couple, but as we grow together, we learn how to better and better communicate, understand, and love each other. There’s so much magick that Nick and I share, and we both look forward to continuously translating it into art and inspiration.
Divine, Exquisite, Extraordinary LOVE is out there if you believe in it. If you’d like to hear more about how to attract more LOVE into your life, sign up to receive Letters from Bexico straight to your inbox!