Saying ‘YES’ Among a Sea of Dancers

Fresno, CA || 3.4.17

After almost 6 years into their relationship, Eric Wieland knew it was time to pop the question to his longtime love and coworker, Shannon Hill. The couple had already spent plenty of time discussing their future together. In fact, during one of those conversations, Shannon made it clear to Eric she didn’t want a proposal that was over the top.

So when Eric decided he was going to pop the question, he remembered that request… then began to make plans for the exact opposite of that.

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AJ led a ‘Thriller’ Flash Mob at Woodward Park

Inspired after seeing another Bruno Mars flash mob proposal (there’s a few of them!), Eric began his search for help coordinating one of his own.  Eventually, he was connected with one of Fresno’s most experienced #FlashMob coordinators, AJ Lacuesta.  AJ is a dance teacher at a Fresno middle school who has organized 11 other Flash Mobs before.

 

By the time AJ and Eric crossed paths, AJ was confident in his choreography skills, but this was a gig unlike any other.  “I’d worked with most of the dancers for years.  For some of the others it was their first flash mob performance ever,” said AJ.   “This was challenging because it was my first proposal and I wanted to make it different from other ones found on the internet.”  AJ and Eric only practiced together twice, but that was just enough for the groom-to-be to pick up the steps.

For Eric, planning the dance was just half of the battle.  He also needed to devise a plan to get Shannon to River Park.  This is where some of her friends came in handy.  Together, they decided to coordinate a girls day out, including  shopping and a movie. The meticulous planning didn’t stop there.  A friend recommended Eric pick a fight with Shannon before she left so she wouldn’t be supicious…so he did!  “It was all a diversion,” he explained. “She didn’t text or call me all day, but when she saw me she wasn’t mad anymore!”

When showtime came around, excitement was in the air at River Park.  Saturday afternoon just happened to be a beautiful day and with temperatures at the warmest they’ve ever been this season, plenty of people were at the outdoor shopping center soaking it all in.  Just like Eric planned, his future bride was sitting at a planter outside the movie theater when the music began to play.  It wasn’t too long before she realized the production was all for her.

For everyone involved, it was quite the celebration.  Eric says everything happened the way he hoped it would. For Shannon, the biggest shock was that he was able to keep it a secret for so long! What AJ loved the most was seeing his dancers, especially Eric, give it their all.

Shannon says even though this wasn’t something she ever envisioned for herself, she loved every moment of the surprise and is thankful for the new friends they both have.  And yes, the flash mob crew will be invited to their upcoming wedding.

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Anyone interested in hiring AJ for a flash mob proposal can contact him via email: aurellacuesta@gmail.com.

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