It was a Christmas Eve that The Lion King dancer India Bolds will never forget.
Exhausted from a long week of performances, Bolds was clueless when she saw her cast mates randomly dancing in Broadway's Minskoff Theater lobby, and even more confused when they morphed into a choreographed flash mob. But when her boyfriend of four years, Dale Browne, popped up in the mob wearing a beautiful blue suit, she realized what was coming.
"At that moment, I just broke down with emotions," says Bolds.
The couple met in 2013 at the W Hotel lounge in midtown, at the start of Bolds' career with The Lion King. "Dale has been a part of my entire chapter with TLK: I met him when I was out getting acquainted with my cast, and then we got engaged in the lobby of the theater—it is just mind blowing!"
Browne started planning the surprise proposal four months earlier and knew he had to include two things: Bolds' fellow cast members, and her Atlanta family and friends. He coordinated and got nearly her whole family up to New York City to witness the event.
"I was so overjoyed when I saw my mom coming down the escalator!" says Bolds. "I rarely get to spend holidays with my family due to work schedules; it meant so much to me that he went out of his way to plan this around Christmas."
A real estate professional and admittedly not a dancer, Browne quickly learned the challenges of picking up choreography and dancing in unison during rehearsals. "I asked cast mate Lamar Baylor to choreograph something as simple as possible, which still took me a long time to pick up!" he says. "I definitely have a new respect for professional dancers (and I think I will stick to real estate!)."