“Honey, this ain’t smoke. This is fire” — Jazz Dancer Has Christmas Miracle | Utah Jazz

They say Christmas is a time for miracles. 

That’s precisely what Dani Bush needed during the third quarter of Monday’s game between the Utah Jazz and Charlotte Hornets. 

During a timeout when the Jazz dancers, whom Bush is a member of, started to perform, Bush was front and center when chaos erupted. The music changed early in the dance, and her entire team began to do an entirely different routine. Bush had no idea what to do, and as the panic started to set in, she just tried to copy her teammates and hope this wasn’t her final performance. 

“All of a sudden, there was new music and everyone dispersed into their different formations,” Bush said. “I thought, ‘Crap, I look like an idiot. Coach Ashley is going to be so upset, and I’m going to lose my job’. Then I thought I could pick up the routine, so I look at Lexi and do the same pose as her.”

Unfortunately for Bush, her teammate was of no help, just smiling and laughing — and for a good reason.

What Bush didn’t know, and clearly didn’t hear as the music had also changed, was that her boyfriend of two years, Brandon Heiser, was slowly walking towards her from behind. Once the song changed again, to Bruno Mars’ “Marry You,” Bush realized what was going on. She immediately put her hands to her mouth and began to look around, turning just in time as Heiser approached her.

What took place next happened in front of thousands of people of Vivint Arena and millions more online. But to Bush and Heiser, it felt like it was just the two of them at that moment.

“I couldn’t see anything, the spotlight was so bright,” Bush said. “I did a complete 360, and when I saw him on a knee, I just wanted to be close to him and embrace him. I got on his level, and it all finally clicked for me. … I didn’t hear the music or the audience at all, just listening to him as if we were the only two people in the arena.”

“For me, after I said my three lines, it had to be short because of the time, but I almost forgot to ask her to marry me,” Heiser said. “I literally felt like it was just me and her. I didn’t hear the crowd at all until after she said yes. … Literally lost in the moment.”

In what is typically a moment shared between two individuals, Heiser’s plan to include thousands of people began to take shape weeks ahead of time. 

He contacted Jazz Dancers director Ashley Kelson about the possibility of making it happen in early November but was initially met with some not-so-great news. Kelson told him that they don’t usually do things like this, but she’d be happy to ask. After a few weeks of no response, Heiser reached out again to Kelson, receiving the green light. 

But then came the tricky part, planning the dance for the rest of the Jazz dancers without Bush knowing. 

Incredibly, the team needed just one afternoon of practice to get it down. For her part, Kelson sent Bush on a promotional opportunity so she would miss practice and be none the wiser to what was coming. 

With everything set up and ready, all Heiser had to do was walk to Bush and “not fumble the words.” But after arriving at the game on Monday night, he couldn’t sit at his seat, choosing to hang out at the team store instead.

“I was super nervous,” Heiser said. “I bought a ticket for the game but didn’t even sit in my seat. I sat in the team store and watched Monday night football because I didn’t want to see how many people were in the stands.”

While that moment was everything they could’ve imagined and more, it almost never happened. 

Initially living in Los Angeles, they met in March 2019 on the dating app Bumble. Bush admits to making the first move — something required on the app — although it wasn’t exactly love at first words.

“I made the first move, based my response off his bio when I messaged him and said, ‘Do you think we’ll have a good time together?’” Bush said with a laugh. “Him being a Gemini and super indecisive, he said, ‘It depends on if we have a good connection.’ I didn’t know what to say after that, but I thought he was super hot.”

After a few days of talking, Heiser finally worked up the courage to ask her to sushi, thinking a dinner date would be the best and safest opportunity for them to get to know one another. 

But, Bush had other ideas. 

She rejected the dinner date, not wanting Heiser to spend money on her if it wasn’t going to work out between the two of them. She suggested a walk in a park near place… at night… in Los Angeles. 

“When she said no to sushi, I was super confused because the early conversations seemed like there was a good connection there,” Heiser said while laughing. “I still wanted to meet up, even if I was skeptical about the park thing. Definitely a little weird.”

What was supposed to be a simple ‘get to know you’ sushi date turned into one of the most incredible nights of their lives. They spent hours talking in that park before driving around Los Angeles as the more experienced Heiser showed the newbie Bush around.

Two and a half years later, one huge move to Salt Lake City and a moment captured in time, Heiser and Bush are beginning their forever. 

A somewhat private person, Heiser never imagined that an idea to show his love for Bush would become a viral sensation, being shown all over social media, on ESPN’s Sportscenter, and taking part in media interviews themselves. 

But Bush put it all into perspective, saying seven words that not only captured the moment of the engagement but describes their love and passion for one another.

“Honey, this ain’t smoke. This is fire.”

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