Keeper of the Plans

Wichita ballerina surprised with on-stage proposal at ‘The Nutcracker’

‘Nutcracker’ Prince proposes to Dewdrop Fairy at Wichita ballet performance

During the Metropolitan Ballet Wichita’s performance of “The Nutcracker” on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 Dalton Rupp-Meinert — who was playing the Nutcracker Prince — proposed to his girlfriend of three years, Allison Evans, on stage.
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During the Metropolitan Ballet Wichita’s performance of “The Nutcracker” on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 Dalton Rupp-Meinert — who was playing the Nutcracker Prince — proposed to his girlfriend of three years, Allison Evans, on stage.

It appears this Prince has found his princess.

At the conclusion of Metropolitan Ballet Wichita’s Sunday performance of “The Nutcracker,” Dalton Rupp-Meinert — who was playing the Nutcracker Prince — proposed to his girlfriend of three years, Allison Evans, on stage.

Evans played the Dewdrop Fairy in the production, which was choreographed by Jill Landrith.

Spoiler alert: She said yes.

Rupp-Meinert, a senior at Friends University, said he had been planning the proposal for months, broaching the idea with Landrith before rehearsals began this summer.

She made plans to cast Rupp-Meinert in the production to make it happen, despite the fact he had never danced ballet.

Evans has danced with Landrith since she was 8 years old, and this “Nutcracker” performance was likely her last, he said.

She’s about to enter Newman University’s nursing program, which is known for its rigor and time demands.

“I’ve seen her love and passion for dance ... going to a lot of her performances and recitals,” Rupp-Meinert said. “I got down to thinking of maybe (proposing) in an environment with people that she loves and that love her, and know her sometimes better than I do.

“It’s something I thought would be very special not only for her but for everybody else that’s been a major part of her life.”

One day, during a “Nutcracker” rehearsal, Landrith asked Evans if her boyfriend might be willing to play the Prince — having already made those plans with him, of course.

“I just started laughing because I thought that was hilarious,” Evans said.

Evans didn’t know of his plans to pop the question — though others in the cast (and family members) did.

Rupp-Meinert said he wasn’t nervous to propose, necessarily — he jokingly said he was more worried about remembering the “Nutcracker” choreography.

On Sunday, about 40 to 50 of their family members and friends were in the audience for the performance.

During the bows at the end, Rupp-Meinert left the stage, ostensibly to retrieve flowers for Metropolitan Ballet’s guest dancers from New York.

But when he came back on stage, he pulled Evans out to center stage — much to her confusion, she said.

“After that, though, I kind of figured out what he was doing — I see the box and I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness, is this really happening?’” she said.

She maintained her ballet stance throughout the proposal — “I’ve been a ballerina for my whole entire life, that’s just what came natural to me,” she said.

The two have been dating since meeting at Maize High School nearly 3 years ago.

“It was a special and definitely memorable weekend for the both of us,” Rupp-Meinert said.

Matt Riedl covers arts and entertainment news for the Wichita Eagle and has done so since 2015. He maintains the Keeper of the Plans blog on Facebook, dedicated to keeping Wichitans abreast of all things fun.

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