Heather Ogden and Guillaume Côté are two of the National Ballet of Canada’s principal dancers and not only are they amazing at their jobs, they’re the cutest couple in the business. The two first met in their teens, but their love story took years to come to fruition, all through ballet. We suggest you grab some tissues.
Ogden and Côté met in summer ballet school back when they were 16, but wouldn’t realize their chemistry until later when they both joined the National Ballet in 1998.
— national.ballet.ca (@nationalballet) August 30, 2017
‘And then I pursued her for six years and she kept saying ‘no,” Côté told Your Morning. Ogden denies this, and insists that while Côté’s crush was obvious, they were both seeing other people during that time.
How do you bring two dancers together? Cast them opposite each other in an iconic duet. Canadian choreographer James Kudelka acted as the couple’s ‘ballet matchmaker’ when he cast them as Romeo and Juliet. The couple then went on to play other classic duos in Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.
‘We learned to work together as colleagues before we were a couple,’ said Côté, ‘And I think I always understood where that dynamic was. I worked differently with Heather than I would with [other partners].’
All that time working together in the studio paid off both on stage and in their personal lives. Côté proposed under a bridge at sunset in Florence, Italy–the same place where he realized he wanted to be with Ogden forever–and the two were married in 2010. Now even with a two-and-a-half year-old daughter and an infant son, the couple still dances in the National Ballet together.
‘I think one of the nicest things about being cast together is sharing the performance experience,’ Ogden says, ‘That’s the highlight of our jobs and that’s where you truly get to let go and enjoy all the work. And then after the show, to be able to celebrate. You’re kind of on the same high and you’re having the peak of your career together.’
So, what about those kids? Do we see two more future principal dancers? Maybe.
‘I don’t know if [our daughter] totally gets it, but she knows that we dance and if she hears music at home she’s like, ‘Wait, where’s my tutu? Wait, I need my shoes,’ she’s full production,’ Ogden shared.
‘Think how magical it is for a kid though,’ Côté said, ‘We bring her backstage all the time.’
We’re pretty sure the magic won’t be lost on her, especially once she finds out how her parents got together. We certainly think it’s magical. Almost as magical as seeing Heather Ogden throwing out the first pitch at a Jays game. Yeah, that happened too.