Back in 2015, Danielle Lythjohan decided she wanted to challenge herself with something new, so she signed up for ballroom dance classes at Fred Astaire in Madison. Eight months later, she met Brett Welch.
“We met initially at one of the practice parties, and we had started talking about board games and how our interest in them coincided,” Welch explained.
“Well, kind of. I thought I might be a little too nerdy for him,” Lythjohan said.
Their cohorts at the dance studio decided to play matchmaker, encouraging the two to talk to one another and partner up on the dance floor. By the final student class of the year, Welch got up the courage to ask Lythjohan out for coffee. They’ve been together ever since.
“I think for us, even though we didn't start off dancing together, the people around us saw bits of ourselves that we didn't see in how we would work together, and so it was nice to have that perspective too,” Lythjohan said.
Welch agrees that the mutual interest in dancing reinforced the feelings they had for one another. He said even on television, you can sense if couples competing for a prize have chemistry.
“You can see how the couples on there interact with each other and you can see that translation through their dance. And if they're cold to each other, their dance doesn't feel right,” Welch said.
About a year and a half into the relationship, Welch knew he had found the person he was going to marry. The proposal happened near a Christmas tree on the Capitol square in downtown Madison. The wedding is set for June 20, 2020. As expected, the two are rehearsing a choreographed number to perform for their guests.
For Lythjohan, dancing and relationships go hand-in-hand.
“You kind of connect with the person you're dancing with. You have to really trust the person, and me, I'm the type of person where I really like to be in control of things, and I get to kind of let myself go and trust that he knows what he's doing,” Lythjohan said. “When you make that connection with someone, it just adds to our relationship.”
In light of the New Year, Lythjohan hopes people learn from her willingness to try something new and follow through with that goal.
“Do it because you don't know where that journey is going to take you,” Lythjohan said. “If I hadn't pulled into the parking lot that day, I wouldn't have met him, and who knows where I'd be.”