Johnny Ruffo, 34, a well-known actor and musician, recalls his initial impression of his girlfriend Tahnee Sims in this unique edited excerpt.
Chris Harrington might have discovered love in Summer Bay in 2013, but I did in a Sydney dance class.
I was using the studio for practise and auditions for backup dancers as I got ready for a tour. I came across a woman who I recognised from Instagram while I was walking through the waiting area. Kids, this is how I got to know your mother. (I’m joking; I don’t have children.) Friends, this is how I first got to know Tahnee Sims.
I actually first connected with Tahnee on Instagram a few months ago. I’m not sure how Insta-cupid found her account, but after scrolling through a grid of images of her dancing, having fun with friends, and exploring the world, I realised I had to find out more.
So I acted like any 26-year-old with common sense would. I secretly entered her direct messages. We had a few back-and-forth conversations, but nothing profound. It was so unexpected to see her in person that I wasn’t sure how to speak to her.
I’m the person from your inbox, hey!
Hello, I inadvertently liked that picture you submitted in February 2012 when deep-scrolling. (She is still dying of shame.)
I’m the man who really wants to get to know you, so hello.
Everyone felt wrong (clearly). We kept running into one other at the class for a few weeks, but neither of us had the nerve to make more conversation than awkward small talk or retain eye contact for a little longer than was appropriate.
On a particular Monday, her friend Amy tapped me on the shoulder as we were both leaving the building simultaneously.
“Hey! Availability on Wednesday? “She made chirps.
I grinned because I could smell a ruse for a playground date from a mile away.
Yes, I slyly replied.
Amy said as she turned to face Tahnee, “Wednesday is a free day for you. Why don’t you two just hang out then?”
Thank God I was able to use my head and mouth together to access the charming gentleman I knew was inside of me. I then called Tahnee and asked for her phone number before inviting her to my house for dinner and a movie.
I was aware that I was anxious by the time Wednesday arrived. I had trouble putting Tahnee into words because of something.
Although she is a complete beauty, I’m going to say that it was her dancing prowess and contagious spirit that really won me over. The woman was as bright as day.
Tahnee showed up exactly at 7 o’clock, and the first thing she said was a fun jab at me for not choosing her to be a backup dancer. Ooooooph. “I didn’t got to select! It was the producers’ decision, “I did my best to explain.
It was terrible choreography, Tahnee said, adding with a wink.
I found out later that Tahnee was originally from Byron Bay and had spent the previous two years studying performing arts in Sydney. She was very committed to dancing, but she was also very busy and most likely didn’t have time to be my backup dancer.
We found time to enjoy numerous evenings like this even though Tahnee was dancing most weekends and I was on tour and presenting shows. I got to meet her family after about three months.
I’m not sure why I imagined them to be marijuana-smoking, Camilla kaftan-clad, green-juice-swilling yuppies, but they couldn’t have been more dissimilar. Actually, Jayden and Kevin, Tahnee’s brother, are complete cowboys. I mean it. One of their belt buckles is large enough to hold a full Christmas meal.
We started talking about anything from vacation to TV shows to tennis before I even realised it.
I pondered Tahnee and her family frequently on the journey from Byron back to Sydney since I kept thinking how much I liked them. The size of it made me uneasy.
What if I mess up?
What happens if Tahnee meets a better match?