Danielle Bush, a Utah Jazz dancer for the NBA, thought she was going to be fired when the music suddenly changed, and she didn’t know the routine’s moves.
At Monday night’s home game against the Charlotte Hornets, the dancers took to the floor as usual, with Danielle Bush in the center of the court when the routine switched up. Looking around at her fellow dancers, the performer adorably tried to act along and keep dancing, unsure of what was happening.
Trying to copy those around her, it became apparent that she was never supposed to have learned the routine as her boyfriend, Brandon Heiser, walked out onto the floor. The music switched once again to Bruno Mars’ “Marry You,” and Danielle Bush immediately realized that she was getting pranked as part of a surprise marriage proposal.
Luckily she was able to turn the confusion into a “Yes,” crying on center court and laughing about the since-viral proposal. “This boomerang really showcases how excited I am to be Brandon’s fiancé and eternal partner,” Danielle wrote on her Instagram story later that night.
“My first thought is, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to lose my job,’” Bush told local KSL-TV. “I tried to make eye contact with my teammates, but they wouldn’t stop being all smiley and giggly and they weren’t helping me out!”
However, she called the surprise proposal a “beautiful moment” that “really felt like it was just him and I in that room.”
Danielle’s boyfriend of three years originally asked one of her fellow dancers, Ashley Kelson, if they would be willing to help him perform the stunt.
“I wanted to make it big and special for her for sure,” Ashley Kelson told KSL. “Making it a part of the routine was so much fun.”
Choreographing the routine was easy but planning and practicing it was much more of a challenge. The group had to secretly meet without Danielle Bush, who was “conveniently” scheduled by Ashley Kelson to take part in a community event at the time. The dance group had just one practice to learn the new dance moves, knowing full well that every other day of practice with Danielle was all part of the grand setup.
“It was an honor to plan with Brandon and be a part of their special moment and just proud of my team for keeping it a surprise,” Ashley Kelson said. “It definitely was a team effort.”
She was nervous about how the crowd and team would react to having one of their dancers appear as if she didn’t know the routine.
“It was all to surprise her and make the moment special,” Ashley Kelson said. “So I know as a dancer, you’re kind of like, ‘What is going to come next?’ It was just a highlight and make her day special.”
“To see the response from the community and just the people, the crowd, it got a huge response,” she continued. “The sports world in general has had an awesome response to it — that was a surprise for me. But the joy that we all saw from them, it was so special. So for everyone to come together and celebrate that with her was just so awesome to see.”
To make the night even better, the Utah Jazz defeated the Charlotte Hornets 112-102 to improve their amazing 21-9 record this basketball season.
“Her reaction was what I will remember most,” Brandon Heiser told KSL-TV, adding that the couple will remember this crazy night for the rest of their lives. “I didn’t even notice the crowd.”
Could there be an on-court wedding in the couple’s future? Stay tuned!