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How we met: ‘We were worried about going on a trip together. But that’s where we fell in love’ | Life and style

When Anupa’s friend suggested they take a salsa dancing course in 2005, she wasn’t convinced it was a good idea. “I had to have my arm twisted to give it a go,” she says. “When we got there, I didn’t enjoy it that much: it was just dancing around with a load of sweaty strangers.” The course came to an end and Anupa was ready to give up. “My friend persuaded me to give it another go. I think she thought I’d get into it if I kept going.”

They returned to find that two salsa classes had been merged into one, and several new people had joined. Anupa soon noticed Greg, who was also attending the class with friends. “He was a really good dancer – much better than me,” she says.

“I’d been doing classes for a few weeks,” says Greg. “When I walked into the class, I spotted Anupa straight away and thought she was really attractive.” Over the next few weeks, they spent time together, but never long enough to start a real conversation. “We would dance together, and then you had to swap partners,” says Anupa. “We were always really upset when we ended up having to dance with someone else.”

Although they’d flirted with each other, it wasn’t until the salsa group’s Christmas party that they grew closer. “We ended up talking a lot and then exchanging numbers so we could keep in contact over the break,” says Greg. After the holidays, they began meeting up before salsa class for drinks, often skipping lessons to go on dates. “We had the same sense of humour and we were both really sociable, so it just felt easy,” he says.

Anupa and Greg in Central Park, New York, in 2007.
Anupa and Greg on their wedding day in Central Park, New York, in 2007. Photograph: Image supplied by reader

Neither of them were interested in starting a serious relationship at the time. “I was looking to move away from Leicestershire for my first teaching job,” says Anupa. “And Greg was just happy living his life with friends. We became a couple at the end of January but we weren’t worried about where things were going in the long term.”

That April they took a trip together to Barcelona. “We were both a bit worried it was too soon,” says Greg. “But that’s where we fell in love and realised we were serious about each other. It really cemented our relationship.” Instead of moving away, Anupa decided to look for a teaching job closer to home, while Greg continued to work in engineering.

In 2007, they got married in New York. “It was meant to be in Central Park but it was pouring with rain, so we ended up doing it at the hotel, and they gave us the penthouse suite for the wedding,” says Anupa. “We managed to get back to the park the next day to take some pictures in the sunshine.” At the end of the year they spent seven weeks travelling around New Zealand and Australia.

The couple didn’t move in together until they were married. “I’m from a Hindu family and, although we’re not very religious, I am quite traditional and thought it would be romantic,” says Anupa. “Greg made a huge effort with my family, too. He really tried to communicate with my grandma who doesn’t speak much English.” Greg says they were all very welcoming and they get on brilliantly.

The couple have two children, born in 2009 and 2010. While Greg continued his work as an engineer, Anupa left her part-time teaching job during the pandemic to write a children’s book and launch an organisation that raises awareness about body image.

Greg says they share similar values, which has kept their marriage strong. “We have had so much fun together and she’s such a caring person,” he says. “I’d often find little presents in my suitcase and notes in my lunchbox when I was away for work. It’s always been so easy and we love having adventures together.” Anupa says they also have the same attitudes to money and family. “I stayed at home with the children when they were young, and was proud to be a housewife,” she says. “We both have traditional values. We also love food, travel and spending time with our children, especially if we can be outside. We can’t wait for the world to open up so we can explore with them again.”

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