For Chris Aubin swing dancing has been a passion since he was in high school. At least a couple nights a week, you'd find him doing the Lindy Hop with a variety of partners at events around town.
In early 2003 he was at the Willowbrook Ballroom in Willow Springs when his friend and dancing mentor Riley Wimes Jr. told him he should dance with a talented newcomer.
Bridget Ryan was home from college, visiting her family for the Christmas holidays and made quite an impression on Wimes.
"Bridget was a fantastic dancer. She had really fantastic feet — which means she had good moves," says Wimes. He pointed at Bridget and told Chris, "Hey man, you need to dance with this girl right here.' "
And so he did.
"I remember going back to Riley and saying, 'She's a really awesome dancer. We partnered really well together,' " says Chris.
And that was that. Dancing with new partners is part of the swing dancing scene. No big deal. "We didn't have any conversation. We danced and then we went our separate ways," he says.
About 10 months later, Chris and Bridget ran into each other in Minneapolis, where they both had traveled to watch The Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown, swing dancing's national championship.
"I saw her there and I remembered dancing with her in Chicago so I asked her to dance again."
Here's how the conversation went:
Chris: "Where are you from? I know I've seen you in Chicago."
Bridget: "I'm actually from Chicago."
Chris: "What part?"
Bridget: "The southwest suburbs."
Chris: "Oh, me too. Which one?"
Bridget: "You've probably never heard of it. It's just a small town called Homer Glen."
Chris: "What? Me too! How is that possible? What subdivision?
Bridget: "Pebble Creek."
Chris: "Whoa. Pebble Creek. That's where I'm from. What street?"