Kirk Henning and Valerie Tellmann are two incredible ballet dancers who fell in love and decided to get married. At their wedding, Kirk knew he wanted to do something special for Valerie. And so, he planned a surprise dance featuring some of her favorite songs!
Kirk and Valerie love each other deeply, but for both of them, dance was their first love.
Valerie began taking ballet classes when she was four in her home state of Oklahoma. At first, she enjoyed dancing, but she didn’t love it.
“My tights were too itchy and I didn’t like to be quiet in ballet class,” Valerie told Richmond Family Online. “I began to think maybe this wasn’t for me.”
Still, Valerie stuck with it, and she ended up going to the Richmond School of Ballet. There, she won the part of a mouse in The Nutcracker¸ and she had a great time. From that moment on, she was hooked on ballet.
Kirk began dancing lessons when he was nine—his mother enrolled him in a class. It also took Kirk some time to warm up to ballet. But by the time he was sixteen, he was enthralled with it.
When they were in their early twenties, Kirk and Valerie began dancing with the Richmond Ballet Company. They were immediately intrigued by each other.
The two began dating, and Valerie told her mom she could see a future with Kirk. But Kirk was focused on his career, and he didn’t feel like he was ready for marriage. The couple dated for two years and then broke up.
Kirk and Valerie were apart for four years. While Valerie dated other people, her mom Colleen could tell that she was still pining for Kirk.
In 2011, when Kirk was thirty, his grandfather passed away. When that happened, Kirk realized that he was ready to start a family.
“Something in me changed,” he says. “I knew I wanted that in my life. Valerie was the most awesome person I have been with. I knew if I got married, there was only one person I wanted to be with.”
Kirk wrote to Valerie, and she decided to give him a second chance. The pair quickly fell back in love, and they moved back to Richmond together.
In 2014, Kirk proposed to Valerie on Richmond’s Canal Walk. Valerie quickly said yes.
Kirk and Valerie got married in 2015. The wedding was held in Carpenter Theatre, a place where Valerie and Kirk had danced together many times before.
Kirk knew he wanted to perform a special, surprise dance for his new bride. And so, he called up his groomsmen and asked if they would be up for performing a medley of songs with him. Valerie loved it!
“It was a complex dance. The moves must have taken months and months for my brother to learn,” she says. “What a beautiful gesture to take all that time and energy. I knew my brother was out of his comfort zone. What a great sacrifice.”
The video quickly went viral, receiving more than 14 million views. Everyone loved watching Kirk and his groomsmen perform for Valerie.
“I thought I couldn’t love Kirk any more, but with all the effort and then after hearing about everything he put into it, it made me think I am the luckiest girl in the world,” Valerie says.
Four years after their video went viral, Kirk and Valerie are doing great.
In 2018, Valerie gave birth to their first child. Judging by his parents, there’s a good chance this little boy is going to have some incredible dance skills!
Kirk and Valerie have a beautiful love story, and the two will always go the extra mile for each other. If you want to see Kirk’s viral dance, check out the video below.
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