To celebrate Valentine’s Day in the most dance-centric way possible, we sat down with five powerhouse dance-teaching couples to talk about their love stories. What do they admire about each other? What are their couple goals and their teaching philosophies, and how do they make their relationships work, especially when they work together? Get ready to swoon!
It’s almost too perfect to believe that two of the most popular contestants ever to grace the “So You Think You Can Dance” stage have ended up as a happy couple (married at Nigel Lythgoe’s winery, no less). Yet, somehow tWitch Boss and Allison Holker have lived out every dancer’s fairy tale. They continue to perform professionally in various capacities, travel with 24 Seven Dance Convention on the weekends, teach for CLI Studios (a company they co-founded with Teddy Forance, Caitlin Kinney and Jon Arpino) and are raising two darling kids along the way.
Allison: We didn’t meet until we were All-Stars on Season 7 of “So You Think You Can Dance.” I had a crush on him from our first rehearsal together, but I didn’t know how to talk to him. I would get so awkward. I would try to flirt with him and send him signals that I was interested, but he was completely oblivious to all of them. We were both so focused on doing a good job as All-Stars on the show that we ended up keeping our attention on that and nothing happened between us. Finally, at the wrap party Stephen came up to me, reached out and took my hand. He walked me upstairs, and we shared a few dances together. We’ve been dating ever since.
tWitch: Allison and I booked a commercial together that was choreographed and directed by friends of ours. They were so awesome and helped me turn the job into a marriage proposal. We were filming the whole day, and then when we were nearing the end, they asked Allison to leave the room to fill out some paperwork. Meanwhile, we brought her family and friends into the room and filled the entire crew in on what was going to happen. Then she came back in, and we started filming a portion of the commercial where I would freestyle on the table and then bring Allison up to join me. Once she got up there, our song, “I Won’t Give Up,” came on and we began slow-dancing. Then I turned her around to see that her family had flown in for the proposal as well. Then I got down on one knee and gave her a speech and asked her to marry me. It was really perfect. We got the whole thing on film, and you can see it online. 👇
Allison: Since the first time I ever saw tWitch perform, I have been drawn to this commanding presence about him that is so unique from other performers. He is such a beast onstage, but then has this endearing quality about him that simultaneously exudes love from every part of his body. It’s enchanting.
tWitch: Allison is able to make a real connection with her students. Whether it’s minis, juniors, teens or seniors, she finds a way to relate to whatever room she walks into. Then, on top of that, she makes the dancers’ jaws drop to the floor as soon as she starts performing. When you combine her ability to connect as a teacher, and the fact that she can prove herself as a dancer, it makes her a class knockout. If she doesn’t grab your attention one way, she will get you in another.
Allison: My teaching philosophy is that freedom and performance are just as important as technical proficiency. I want my students to learn that they are free to use their uniqueness in their movement, and to love it. I do this by being vulnerable in front of them myself. I don’t mind making mistakes or being wild. I am who I am, and I let them see it. I give them the energy I expect from them, and let them know that there is no judgment in my classroom.
tWitch: As a hip-hop teacher, it’s really important to me that I incorporate the culture and energy of hip hop into the class. I want them to see that hip hop isn’t just a class you take, but a lifestyle you live. If I can teach kids this, then class becomes about the vibe, and having a good time with our friends. I want them to leave knowing how to move with a room, and recognize their individual role in keeping the energy up for everyone else.