A Couple, On Stage and Off

By Kalyn Oden, PR Intern

You may now take the stage as Husband and Wife!

On July 5th, 2014, in Fredericksburg, Texas, Houston Ballet demi soloist Elise Judson and corps de ballet member Rhodes Elliott said “I do” and began a new chapter in their lives not only as dancers, but  as husband and wife.

In this blog entry, Elise shares her most cherished moments leading up to their big day and what’s to come in the future.

Rhodes Wedding Pic 3 - Jaime Lagdameo

Elise and Rhodes Elliott; Photo by Jaime Lagdameo

July 5th was a special day.  Tell us about your wedding.

 It was magical! We were married at my aunt and uncle’s home in Fredericksburg, Texas, a small German town in the Texas Hill Country. They have a beautiful home with a lot of property.

We turned it all into a wedding wonderland! Flowers in blues, whites, and tans; a big white tent; lawn games; twinkle lights in the trees; lots of good food, drinks, and of course, dancing! We had a very large wedding party (11 Groomsmen and 15 Bridesmaids!). We are very very lucky to have so many amazing friends and family members in our life. It would not have been the same day if they had not all been standing up at the altar with us! It was so amazing to have them all in the same place, partying and celebrating together!

Why did you choose this location?

I grew up going to my aunt and uncle’s home in Fredericksburg, and I have always had wonderful memories of their property. Since living in Houston, I tend to go out there to visit once or twice a year. Rhodes’ family is from South Carolina, and mine is from California. When we got engaged, Rhodes and I realized that it might be best if both of our families could meet in the middle for our wedding. I always wanted to be married outside under the trees, and since Houston’s weather is very unpredictable in the summer, Fredericksburg sort of presented itself to us. My aunt and uncle were SO generous to open their home and property to us for the most exciting day of our lives!

Elise and Rhodes Elliott

 Elise and Rhodes Elliott; Photo by Jaime Lagdameo

Fireworks and love… With both of you being dancers, how did you plan a wedding around your schedules?

We got engaged on November 30th, and were married on July 5th, so we had a bit of time to plan. As dancers, we only have a few opportunities and layoffs to plan big events like a wedding! Rhodes and I wanted to be able to go on our honeymoon directly after our wedding, so our 5 week layoff this summer was going to be the best time for us.

Because most people are able to take a long weekend for the 4th of July, we thought that more of our family and friends would be able to make the long trip to Texas that weekend. It all worked out!

Where and how did you both meet?

Rhodes and I met in 2005 at the Houston Ballet Summer Intensive Program! We danced together that summer and performed the Snow Pas de Deux from The Nutcracker at the end of summer performance. We danced the Pas de Deux from The Kingdom of the Shades in La Bayadere at the following summer intensive, traveled to Beijing, China for the Beijing International Dance Competition with HBII in 2006, and then both joined the company as apprentices in 2007. We’ve known each other for a long time!

Judson and R Elliott - The leaves are fading

Ballet: The Leaves are Fading; Dancers: Elise Elliott and Rhodes Elliott; Photo Amitava Sarkar

As Houston Ballet Dancers, what other roles have you performed together?

Since joining the company together, we have performed together a lot! We danced the first pas de deux in Antony Tudor’s The Leave are Fading, the Arabian Pas De Deux in Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker, Demi-Couples in Twyla Tharp’s The Brahm’s Hayden Variations, Ballet Couples in Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, as well as many other smaller partnering parts in numerous other ballets. Our heights are comparable for dancing together, and we enjoy dancing together!

Describe Rhodes in 3 words or less.

Silly, Charismatic, Loving

What ballets are you looking forward to?

I am very much looking forward to Jorma Elo’s One/End/One, which is part of our fall mixed rep program. I performed that ballet when it was first choreographed on us a few years ago, and I can’t wait to perform it again! I am also looking forward to George Balanchine’s Ballo della Regina, and Mark Morris’s new work on our company later this year. Rhodes is definitely looking forward to John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew, which we are ending the season with this year. Lots to look forward to!

Artists of Houston Ballet_Ballo della Regina_Amitava SarkarIMG_0918

Ballet: Ballo della Regina; George Balanchine; Artists of Houston Ballet; Photo Amitava Sarkar


From September 18-28, 2014, Houston Ballet offers up its fall mixed repertory program titled From Houston to the World with ballets choreographed for Houston Ballet dancers. Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo brings wit and humor to the extreme virtuosity that he demands in ONE/end/ONE. Edwaard Liang’s deeply spiritual ballet Murmuration also returns. Closing the program is Stanton Welch’s vivid and exciting interpretation of the third act of Paquita, showcasing a breathtaking display of technique and classical skill. Houston Ballet will give six performances of From Houston to the World at Wortham Theater Center in downtown Houston.  Tickets start at $20, and may be purchased at www.houstonballet.org, or by calling 713 227 2787.


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