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Love is in the Air

With Cincinnati Ballet Dancers

Not only do many fall in love WITH the ballet…but many have also fallen in love AT the ballet. In fact, sometimes all it takes is the right mixture of beautiful music and dance coupled with a passion for the arts to set flames afire.

In this edition, we speak with four Cincinnati Ballet dancer couples who found love and romance at the barre…the ballet barre, that is!

Here are the stories of three Cincinnati Ballet married dancers couples  Jacqueline and Cervilio Miguel Amador, Abbey and Edward Gonzalez Kay, Christina LaForgia Morse and David Morse  and newly-engaged couple, Chisako Oga and James Cunningham.

When and where did you meet?

Jacqueline and Cervilio Amador:
We met when I joined the Company in 2008 as a trainee. We didn’t begin dating until the summer of 2010. We dated for three years and actually broke up for about a year and a half. We got back together in 2015.

Abbey and Edward Gonzalez Kay:
We met in Sarasota, FL when we were both dancing for the Sarasota Ballet. Edward joined during my second season with the Company.

Christina LaForgia Morse and David Morse:
We met in 2011 while we were both dancers with Charlotte Ballet but we actually didn’t really get to know each other until we started dancing together in the Pas De Trois in Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s Sleeping Beauty.

Where was your first date?

Jacqueline and Cervilio Amador:
We had a very casual first date at Beer Seller in Newport, on the balcony. Soon after we had a picnic in Ault Park.  It was romantic and I like to call it our first date. That’s where he proposed!

Abbey and Edward Gonzalez Kay:
For our first date, Edward asked to take me out to dinner for my birthday. We went to a Mexican restaurant and afterwards took a stroll on the beach.

Christina LaForgia Morse and David Morse:
David called me one afternoon and asked me to join him at a young donors society event at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. After that we grabbed some coffee and pastries at one of my favorite Charlotte hang outs, Amelies French bakery.

Chisako Oga and James Cunningham:
Our first date was dinner and a show. We went to Biagio’s Bistro in Clifton. It’s a great little Italian place on Ludlow Ave. I was so nervous that I parked the car and blocked the passenger door with a telephone pole. I had to move the car just so that Chisako could open her door!  Then, we went to the Aronoff for the Broadway series. We were running a little bit late and made it to our seats just as the lights were going down.

When did you (or will you) get married? And where?

Jacqueline and Cervilio Amador:
We got married on April 1, 2017, here in Cincinnati surrounded by family and friends.

Abbey and Edward Gonzalez Kay:
We had a small ceremony in my hometown of Weston, FL on July 1st, 2017.

Christina LaForgia Morse and David Morse:
May 20th, 2016 at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC. 

Chisako Oga and James Cunningham:
We got engaged in Scottsdale, AZ.  I had no idea that I would ever propose in Arizona.  We were on a road trip with the Oga’s. One of the evenings was a family photoshoot, and I pulled the ring out before it was time to take our couple pictures.  Chisako was so surprised!  She said yes, and we got some great shots just as the sun was setting. We’re planning our wedding for mid-June, and are still in the beginning of the planning phase.

Have you ever danced together? What’s it like working with your spouse?

Jacqueline and Cervilio Amador:
Yes, we have danced together a few times! The most memorable ones are Adam Hougland’s Mozart’s Requiem, Trey Mcintyre’s Wild Sweet Love, and Snow Pas in The Nutcracker.  Our pas from Mozart’s Requiem was about lost love, very dark; we were actually broken up at the time and we say that that pas helped bring us back together.  Wild Sweet Love was also a love pas but was wild, fun, and athletic. We had so much fun dancing that.

We enjoy dancing together. Of course, we bicker at times, but we always leave it at work.  It is easy for us to separate the two.

Abbey and Edward Gonzalez Kay:
We don’t dance together often, but there have been a few occasions. This summer, we performed an emotional pas de deux choreographed on us by Heather Britt for the Kansas City Dance Festival/Moving Arts Cincinnati. It was a fun experience.

Some people think it would be difficult to be with your spouse 24/7, at home and in the work place. Edward and I met at work, so I guess we are used to it. Sometimes, if you are having a hard day, it’s nice to have your husband there to give you a hug or a little pep-talk. We also like to watch each other in a class/rehearsal and give each other corrections or helpful tips.

Christina LaForgia Morse and David Morse:
Yes! We shared a sweet moment in Johanna Wilt’s “The dance will set you free” and a small handful of other pieces.

Chisako Oga and James Cunningham:
That’s kind of how we met!  We first danced together in Adam Hougland’s Cut to the Chase, which was right after Chisako joined the Company. We were also partnered for the Snow Pas de Deux in The Nutcracker.

What’s it like juggling being a mom and a dancer?

Jacqueline and Cervilio Amador:
We have an adorable little boy named Leonardo. He is 16 months old right now, and brings us constant entertainment. As a couple, this is a wonderful time for us, discovering parenthood together.

Leon was born on September 3rd, and I returned to the stage at 12 weeks postpartum for The Nutcracker. That means I was back taking class at six weeks, and by eight weeks, I was back to a full day of rehearsal.  When I look back, I think it was a little fast, but I made it!

Even though I was back performing, it took about a year to feel fully back. The first year was certainly hard. I nursed a full year, and that consumes much of your day and made things a little harder.  Once I was back to a full night of sleep and feeling less sore at work, I began to get the hang of it and feel back to life again.  Now we have found our routine and have adjusted to this new life. I enjoy having so much outside of my ballet career. I just try to be kind to my mind and body, with all of its demands.

We also have some very exciting news…we are expecting baby boy number two this spring!

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Abbey and Edward Gonzalez Kay:
We vacation in Cuba at least once a year to visit family. We usually start in Havana where Edward’s family lives, and then make our way to the beautiful beaches in Varadero, Cuba.

Christina LaForgia Morse and David Morse:
Charleston, SC is our usual but we are really looking forward to our vacation this coming May when we go to Paris!

 

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