Senior and 2005 world yo-yo champion John Narum wanted his last show before he graduated to be big.
As his fellow students have come to expect, Narum wowed Friday’s crowd with eye-popping tricks that involved lying on the floor, doing handstands and kneeling on the ground—all while slinging yo-yos through the air.
But when the show drew to a close, he told the crowd he needed a volunteer for one more big trick. Narum scanned the audience and selected senior Olivia Hvass, his girlfriend of four months.
Narum positioned Hvass’ arm carefully and did a modified “man on the flying trapeze” trick. Then he got down on one knee—leaving the yo-yo dangling between them and creating the very image of a proposal.
“Would you go to the prom with me?” he asked.
Narum’s plan was a month in the making. He secured the blessing of administrators and had actually warned Hvass he was planning something big. A jokester, she kidded him that he shouldn’t be so sure she’d say yes.
Narum got his wish for a big hit, though. The proposal surprised Hvass—who said yes before she was overcome by tears. The two kissed and Narum lifted her to the wild cheers of the crowd.
“I didn’t expect that reaction, but it was fun,” Narum said. “It was kind of a big emotional deal for me.”