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Candy Lane: dancing on air

It was love at first foxtrot thanks to Candy Lane’s matchmaking skills.

When Dancing with the Stars host Candy Lane noticed a spark between two of her dancers, Kristie Boyd and Jonny Williams, little did she know that four years on, she would see a new dance partnership, an engagement and a baby.

Candy, who is normally known for her fancy footwork rather than f xing up potential partners, was determined to set the two up, so decided to try her hand at matchmaking. “I had an inkling they’d be good together,” she says.

Noticing the spark the couple developed after Kristie joined the Candy Lane Dancers in 2008, the host helped the pair’s chemistry along during one of her shows. “We had an away show and [she] put us in the same bedroom,” Jonny says, grinning at Candy.

“Well, we had a trip, and when we got everyone together to figure out who would share rooms, we saw Jonny was the only boy, and there was one spare girl, so I thought, ‘You two won’t mind sharing will you?’” laughs Candy. “Although, I don’t think the parents would be too happy I already had them shacked up on the first date!”

From there, says Kristie, the two were inseparable, eventually becoming each other’s dance partner and also competing alongside each other in the final season of Dancing with the Stars.

However, there was one minor hiccup on their first official date. “He didn’t finish teaching until late and he was really hungry, but I’d already eaten,” remembers Kristie. “So we went to Denny’s across the road. He stuffed himself and I just sat there. I got home and my brother asked how my date was, and I said ‘I’m never seeing him again!’ But I gave him another chance and everything fell into place.”

Candy recalls partnering the pair up to dance as much as possible – the sexier the dance, the better. “I’d always ask them to do a rumba. I kept saying, ‘Look into each other’s eyes!’”

Candy’s persistence paid off and the two are now celebrating four years together – and their engagement. “His proposal was so sweet,” smiles Kristie. Jonny pulled out all the stops for his romantic moment, popping the question on a cliff top overlooking Whangarei Heads.

“I was on one knee and I went to pull the ring box out of my pocket, but only the top came out. I was so lucky the ring didn’t fall over the cliff!” says Jonny. “I never thought I’d get a proposal like that. I just thought it would be like, ‘Here’s your ring, babe!’” Kristie laughs.

Celebrating her milestone 30th week of pregnancy next week, Kristie pats her expanding belly and sighs. “It’s hard coping with the heaviness,” the normally petite dancer says as she looks down at her bump.

Even though they’re staying mum on their daughter’s name, the couple has managed to come up with an unusual nickname for her. “She’s our Made in China baby,” laughs Kristie. ”We were over there for a dance competition and the timing works out around then.”

Although she’s awaiting the birth of her child, Kristie says she’s really missing dancing. “We had the best year of our careers last year, so it’s a bit of a shame we can’t compete in the Kiwi Classic Dance International next weekend,” she says.

“Actually, I was really nervous telling Candy about the baby in the first place – all the good shows were coming up and I couldn’t compete in them because I’d be fat by then!”

Candy remembers taking a call from Jonny. “He asked me if I was in the studio because he had to tell me something. I was panicking, thinking they were leaving the country, or they didn’t want to dance any more. I was freaking out so I told him to give me a clue,” says Candy. “And I just said, ‘Nine months’,” smiles Jonny.

As for Candy’s matchmaking career, she says she hasn’t ruled out trying to set up more of her dancers. “You never know,” she says. “But these guys were something special.”

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