“She’s a romantic,” says Tyler Gum of his wife, Olivia Gusti.
“A hopeless one,” she adds with gusto.
Olivia has a commanding, queenly air about her. With her regal shoulders, long neck and wide eyes, she is every bit a ballerina. This imperious poise, however, dissolves the moment she bounces into a chair and bubbles out the couple’s love story—from their first meeting to an engagement ring scavenger hunt.
“Isn’t it beyond perfect?” she gushes as she shows off the olive-green sapphire ring glistening atop her finger. “Isn’t HE?”
The couple married in the summer of 2021 after seven years together. They met when Oliva joined the company as a trainee, who admits she was a bit intimidated by her husband’s soloist rank.
“Some couple-friends from Ballet West were always inviting us along,” Tyler says. “We kept wondering why we were the only two single people in the group, and it dawned on us that they thought we’d be good together.”
The matchmaking worked. “We’re two sides of the same coin,” Olivia says of their different but well-suited personalities. He’s detail-oriented. She looks at the big picture. She’s whimsical. He’s calm. She does the wash and he does the dishes.
“We complement each other,” agrees Tyler.
So what is it like to work day in and day out together, and sometimes even partner together—as they do in Nutcracker’s Arabian Dance? They both agree it’s meaningful when they’re performing arm-in-arm on stage.
“It’s more time in my life that I get to experience with her,” Tyler says.
Read more romantic stories from Ballet West dancers here.
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