“Yes”: Stage + Studio by Annie Honebrink

“Do you want to go on an adventure?” he asked me after our second date. I did not hesitate with my enthusiastic “Yes!” We ran through the park, explored a hidden old beat up shed, and trekked through the woods. I was a child again—the world was hope. I was a teenager—my heart was restless. I was a woman—hesitant, yet confident. I was real. I was me. A year later—after more adventures, fake “stake outs”, Nerf gun battles, tears, rants, and chasing lizards out of the house—I gave another enthusiastic “Yes!” as he knelt in front of me on the stage of Cincinnati’s Music Hall. My crutches went flying.

I remember scampering onto that stage in my first performance of the Nutcracker, fingers wiggling under my nose as whiskers. I remember the way my gruff grandpa’s eyes would light up when he talked about Music Hall. I remember the magic lighting inside me as I sat on the red velvet cushion and watched a ballet unfold in my bright, wide eyes.

“Yes!” I repeated as I pulled him to his feet in a giant hug.

Love is not always romantic. More often than not, love is found and seen in the daily routine of life. It is late night Facetime with no makeup and sleepy eyes. It is a sweaty forehead and many boxes to move. It is smashed up banana smeared on a shirt and milk stains on the shoulder. It is a soft kiss on the forehead. It is middle of the night rocking and singing. Love isn’t always dreamy, passionate midnight kisses in the rain or dramatic starry-eyed pronouncements from a balcony. With that being said, we all deserve a little romance in our lives. We all deserve to be made to feel like the most beautiful creature on the planet. We all seek that giddy flutter in the stomach that keeps us up until 2:00am dancing around the apartment. We cling to epic tales of love. We cry anew time and time again for Romeo and Juliet and their tragic story.

I remember sliding the ring onto my finger on the elegant, grand stage of Music Hall. I remember my heartbeat was not fluttery—it was strong. Sure. I remember looking into his bright, tender eyes and knowing that he saw me. I remember my heart did flutter when he kissed me that night—just like it did after the first time—after our adventure in the park.

We have many adventures ahead of us. There will be moments of heart-throbbing romance and moments of heart-breaking reality. The beautiful thing about love is—you get to experience every moment together; and every moment—the highs and the lows—can bring you closer and make you one.

I am excited to experience Louisville Ballet’s Season of Romance with you, our audience. Love weaves itself in and out of our lives in countless ways. I hope you join Louisville Ballet and allow your heart to take this journey with us this season.