Flash Mob Proposal at Ben and Jerry's

How We Met – by Timothy: It was my senior year at Lyndon Institute, and I had just been named as the VTLSP (Vermont Teen Leadership Safety Program) president for the entire school. In Vermont, twice a year there were conferences held for people serving as VTLSP presidents of their school, which was also called YACs (Youth Advisory Council). Kids from all of over the state went to these meetings to learn information that they could share with their peers back at school. After making it down a day late for personal reasons, I felt a little out of place being the new guy in town. After our first training session, I was approached by a cute girl and was asked to take a picture with her just for fun. Like I said, she was cute, however I was not normally the one to make moves, but there was just something about this girl that I couldn’t let go of. After asking for her number I really got to know her and that night the group went out bowling. I was paired with her, but that wasn’t going to make me let her win. She somehow ended up beating me three times in a row, and it was safe to say I was shocked and very impressed. After the training had ended for the weekend, we gave each other a hug good-bye and it was from that moment on knowing how she felt in my arms that I knew she was a special girl. Just a few weeks later we became official, thanks to her long time friend, Rose Lovett, constantly asking her if we were dating yet. Thanks Rose, it turned out to be the best decision of my life!

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How We Met – by Danielle: As a sophomore at St. Johnsbury Academy, I was thrilled to be named the president of my school’s branch of the Vermont Teen Leadership and Safety Program (VTLSP). With this responsibility, I had the opportunity to travel around the state for trainings at hotels with other VTLSP presidents (called YAC’s for Youth Advisory Council). The club supervisor, Sandy Wright, brought me to my very first YAC training, which was in Rutland, VT. My only memories from that weekend revolve around meeting Tim, which happened on my second day of training, when I was assigned to a group with Lyndon Institute’s YAC, who was late arriving and I hadn’t yet met. As I sat with another YAC, a tall redhead walked in wearing an LI Soccer hooded sweatshirt. I was instantly smitten- I loved soccer and redheads, and I thought Tim was adorable from the second I saw him. This feeling quickly grew through the weekend, from our competitive night of bowling (I beat him all three times!) to our flirtatious teasing about our high school rivalries. We kept in touch once we got back to school, and we helped each other plan events for our chapters of VTLSP. After many phone calls and school dances, and with the help of one of my best friends, Rose Lovett, Tim and I became “official” on October 12th, 2008.

how they asked: After months upon months of planning, Tim decided it was officially time to take me off the market. From the early stages of our six-year relationship, he had formed an idea of how he would ask me to marry him: knowing just how much I loved old-time musicals, he knew it would be perfect to organize a flash mob that he would dance in. Things began to fall into place when Dance Express (a local dance studio owned and operated by Jacque Mackay) dancer and choreographer Michele Mackay enrolled at UVM in Fall 2014 and grew to be one of my closest friends. This made it easy for Tim to approach Michele with his idea, and she was thrilled to be one of the first to hear about the upcoming engagement, agreeing to play a crucial and secretive role in the proposal. Michele was also a teacher at the Urban Dance Complex in Burlington, and she told me all about a flash mob she was planning with her students on Church Street on November 9th. I quickly made plans with Tim to watch the flash mob; unaware of the secret planning that had already occurred, but quickly putting Michele and other close friends to the test by discussing suspicions for a proposal that same Sunday, due to Tim making a lunch reservation on Church Street (which he never does!).After many weeks of Michele’s choreography, Tim decided to get even more creative, employing a local broadcasting company, the Northeast Sports Network, to film and broadcast their special day. Two days before the proposal, Tim rehearsed with Michele and the dancers of Dance Express before packing up the ring and heading to my house for the weekend. On Sunday afternoon, Tim took me out for their lunch reservation, where I secretly thought he might propose. Alas, lunch ended with no proposal, and we headed to Ben & Jerry’s, where the flash mob was going to be performed. Jacque and Michele kept me preoccupied, and I never noticed my friends hiding in City Sports or our families hiding just a block down. When the music started, Tim kept his arm around me casually, until all of a sudden he sprinted into the center of the flash mob! I was shocked, but had no suspicions, instead pulling out my phone to videotape Tim’s moves. Finally, the music slowed down and the dancers knelt to the ground, with Tim standing. As I realized what was happening, my eyes filled with tears and Tim made his way to me. He knelt on the ground and proposed, and of course I said yes!

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After he slid the ring onto my finger, he pointed behind me, where our families stood. We were a happy couple, surrounded by friends and family (as well as quite a few strangers!), and happy tears filled the eyes of many!

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Choreography by Michele Mackay of Dance Express