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Baughns met 32 years ago in ‘The Nutcracker,’ continue to perform

MADISON – Debbie Munn Baughn was wise to follow her father’s advice about life and love.

In September 1985, Debbie Munn met David Baughn when he enrolled at Huntsville Ballet to improve his flexibility for karate training. David was a junior at University of Alabama in Huntsville. Debbie had just moved from North Carolina to work for Newly Weds Foods in Decatur.

After meeting, they performed in four ‘Nutcracker’ productions. Debbie danced in corps de ballet’s snow and flowers scenes three years. David performed as a porter and Snow King. They danced together as Shepherd/Shepherdess in 1987.

Over the years, the Baughns portrayed ‘Nutcracker’ party parents but originally with different ‘spouses.’ When director Phillip Otto joined the company, parents were named after historic Huntsville families. This year, the Baughns portrayed the Donegan family of Randolph Street — also where David grew up.

“I thought David was kind of cute but wasn’t immediately drawn to him,” Debbie said. David thought Debbie was quite attractive and nice. After becoming friends, they started dating and eventually married.

David’s tall stature and strength led to additional roles to perform overhead lifts. David and Debbie danced together for a Huntsville Ballet garden party and in Asbury Dinner Theatre’s production of “An Evening with Ed Sullivan” as Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev.

Debbie started ballet lessons in upstate New York and continued in Princeton, N.J., Stamford, Conn.; with North Carolina Reparatory Ballet and with Vicki Butler in Decatur. She taught ballet at The Dance Company in Madison several years and choreography for “The Kind and I” by Madison Community Chorus. A high school athlete, David rowed with for UAH’s crew.

“Before I left for Alabama, my father sat me down and talked to me about my choices of men. He suggested I do something I love, and I will find love,” Debbie said. In Huntsville, she returned to dance as her ‘first love’ but had to audition twice for the ballet company. “If I hadn’t pursued something I loved, I would not have met David.”

Since 1985, they have either danced for or held season tickets for Huntsville Ballet. Debbie serves on Huntsville Ballet Executive Board on Board of Directors.

Debbie and David are parents of Catherine and Christine. Catherine, an artist, lives in Boulder, Colo. Christine is studying pharmacy at McWhorter School of Pharmacy at Samford University.

Debbie owns Debbie Baughn Consulting and currently works for House-Autry Mills in North Carolina. David is a computer programmer/analyst with OASYS in Huntsville.

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