<strong>BE MINE, BALLERINA:</strong> State Street Ballet dancer Mauricio Vera proposed to fellow company member Deise Mendonça onstage at the Granada on Sunday afternoon.

With well over 100 dancers, the Opera San Luis Obispo orchestra in the pit, and enough gorgeous costumes to clothe several armies of wooden soldiers and a heaven full of little angels, State Street Ballet puts on an unforgettable version of The Nutcracker every year at the Granada. This season was no exception, and last Sunday, the capacity audience was treated not only to an excellent Clara in Karlise Loza and a multitude of wonderful turns by the students of Gustafson Ballet, but also to some delicious and romantic drama from the company when, amid the final bows, company dancer Mauricio Vera got down on one knee and proposed marriage to fellow company member (and Sunday’s Sugar Plum Fairy) Deise Mendonça. The petite dancer from Brazil said yes, and her partner in dance sealed the deal to become her partner in life by putting a ring on it right then and there.

The audience, already flying high from the thrilling performance and perhaps a few sugary Christmas treats as well, went from standard-issue, Nutcracker-induced holiday euphoria to full-on raging “I can’t believe it”–style collective pandemonium. What could possibly top that? You’ll just have to come back next Christmas season and see.


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