Dynamic Duos

Nine pairs of people who, through their unique partnerships—some romantic, some not—make Denver a more interesting, entertaining and welcoming place to live.

The Danseur and His Muse

When you ask a pair of ballet dancers to describe their wedding day, you expect them to wax poetic about the first dance. Not Garrett Ammon and Dawn Fay, founders of contemporary ballet company Wonderbound. At their Memphis wedding, the couple didn’t even have a first dance. “We just wanted to have all of our friends and family there and we didn’t want to overdo it,” Ammon, 36, says.

That laser-like focus on the important things has helped them become not only successful dancers, but also successful spouses. (The pair has been married now for 13 years.) Since they tied the knot, work and love have become eternally connected. Choreographers very frequently paired the two together and when Ammon began choreographing works himself, Fay, 45, was his muse. “We experience movement, dance, and space in very different ways,” Ammon says. “I think that’s what has allowed us to work so well with each other because we could bring those two perspectives together in a way that was unique.” In 2007, the couple moved to Denver and were hired by Ballet Nouveau Colorado (which they transformed into Wonderbound), a long-held dream come true that they say wouldn’t be possible without the trust and communication within their own relationship. “If you don’t have those things you might as well just call it,” Fay says—a truism for both home and work.

While being around one another 24/7 would annoy most couples, it’s the only existence Ammon and Fay know. And it works—most of the time—for them because they have different areas of concentration. While Ammon focuses on the minutiae and the big picture, Fay says she exists more in the middle ground.

So when doesn’t it work? Once in a while, they get frustrated with each other when their communication breaks down. And they both say it’s difficult to ever take a true break from work because, well, they live with their co-worker. In the end, Ammon says their varied outlooks—on what could be opportunities or how they view situations—are what keep their relationship vital: “By having those different perspectives we manage to avoid most pitfalls pretty well.”

—From top photographs by: Bryce Boyer, Aaron Colussi, Sean Hagwel, Matt Nager (2), Aaron Colussi, Rachel Levy, Aaron Colussi, Jeff Nelson, courtesy of Kristen Sink

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