BANGOR, Maine — Stephanie (Stevie) Dunham and Caleb McGary met at age 8 while taking a class at Caleb’s mother’s dance studio, River City Dance, and while performing with Robinson Ballet.
Since that age they have danced in “The Nutcracker,” performing various roles separately or partnered with others — most notably, Caleb as the head of Mother Ginger and Stevie with Ian Robinson as the Reed Flutes soloists.
In high school Caleb and Stevie were cast as the Nutcracker and Clara, and they have not stopped dancing together since.
They have performed as the Snow Queen and Prince, Dew Drop Fairy and Attendant, and the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier in “The Nutcracker.” They have been paired for many Robinson Ballet spring performances, University of Maine dance showcases and other venues.
The dance training shows — they move alike, each knowing what the other one will do automatically; communicating with a look, a hand squeeze and occasionally a word or two.
The two have “officially” been a couple for the past four years but have been buddies forever, being best friends in middle school and high school where Stevie was once quoted in a local newspaper, “Caleb is like a brother to me.”
They survived a four-year-long distance relationship while Stevie was getting a bachelor’s degree in dance from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and Caleb was going to school in Bangor and Orono, obtaining a degree in law enforcement.
They became engaged the weekend before Halloween while the ever-competitive couple had a two-person pumpkin carving contest.
When revealing their pumpkins, Caleb had carved: “Marry Me.” Stevie replied, “Yes” and revealed a smiling jack-o’-lantern.
In this year’s production of “The Nutcracker” they will dance the roles of Sugar Plum and Cavalier.
“The Nutcracker” will be performed at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, at The Grand, 165 Main St. in Ellsworth. Ticket information is available by calling 667-9500 or visit www.grandonline.org.
In Bangor, “The Nutcracker” will be performed with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, at Bangor High School’s Peakes Auditorium.
Ticket information is available at 581-1755 or 800-MCA-TIXX, or online at https://mca1b.mainecenterforthearts.org/ and under Choose a Show, select Nutcracker.