They met touring with Beyoncé - now they're getting married
| Beyoncé can inspire love in us all, and Divinity and Yani are proof
How did you and your significant other meet? It’s a question asked of all couples. For Divinity Roxx and Yani Marin, their cute-meet story is a little more glamorous than most — and it involves Beyoncé.
The year was 2007, and Beyoncé was about to embark on her third concert tour. The Beyoncé Experience consisted of 96 shows across the globe.
Roxx and Marin first met in this jet-setting, music-filled, fast-paced environment.
‘Yani came in to rehearsals a little late. I think she was the last dancer chosen for the tour,’ Roxx tells GSN of the first time they were in the same room.
Marin booked the tour in a competitive dancing audition, while Beyoncé chose Roxx to be the Musical Director of her all-female band.
Roxx continues: ‘When she came in, we were already in production rehearsals and everything was hectic. I remember when she first walked into the sound stage in Brooklyn where we were preparing for the tour. I thought, “Oh, she’s cute.”‘
Though she made this observation, she described rehearsals as ‘grueling’, with 12-14 hour days. It left little time to get to know each other.
‘We had also been told to stay away from the dancers. Ha!’
There was also that.
Now, twelve years later, Roxx and Marin are getting married on 19 May in New Jersey.
Out of an elevator and in to love
Rehearsals continued and Roxx recalls one night at a hotel bar, where Marin was hanging out with other dancers.
One of them came over to Roxx and mentioned the conversation they were having about who liked who (‘Very high school tour kind of stuff,’ Roxx comments).
Marin said she liked Roxx.
‘After we finally got out of the country and we all started hanging out together, she and I began finding ways to sit next to each other on planes and buses and started spending short amounts of time together here and there, talking, laughing, getting to know each other,’ she remembers fondly.
Then everything changed in Japan.
Roxx says: ‘We were in the elevator with our friend (drummer) Nikki who pushed me out of the elevator when Yani got off on her floor. I just smiled goofily (I did that a lot back then around her), and said, “I guess I’m coming to your room..!”‘
When the tour ended, they maintained their relationship. For the first five years, it was a long distance relationship, one that was ‘tough and rocky’. Roxx went back on the road ‘with Bey’ while Marin booked West Side Story on Broadway.
‘We would visit each other and take trips together but we were still long distance,’ she remembers. ‘After I left the Beyonce band I moved to LA. I convinced Yani to move out there because she was looking to do more acting and less dancing. We stayed in LA for about 5 years.’
Though Roxx had never thought about marriage before, it’s where their relationship went.
‘I proposed 2 years after she moved out there and here we are living in Jersey and getting married 12 years after Nikki pushed me out of the elevator in Nagoya, Japan.’
Beyoncé as matchmaker
Roxx has nothing but good things to say about Beyoncé.
‘She’s funny, she’s cool, she’s caring, she’s thoughtful. She’s a BOSS. I call her Boss Lady. She knows this business like no other and she’s an incredibly talented woman to work with,’ she says.
Both Roxx and Marin are grateful for their time spent with the Formation singer. Roxx also thinks of her as something of a matchmaker — she and Marin aren’t the first to get engaged or married after meeting on a Beyoncé tour.
Roxx wrote a song about her time with Marin on The Beyoncé Experience, and they shot a video together for it.
Looking back… and forward
Roxx came out when she was 17. She first said the words to her assigned counselor, a straight black woman, in high school.
‘We sat in her office in an awkward silence, me just having said the words out loud for the first time, “I’m gay.”
‘She sat there wide eyed and gulped like she had swallowed a mouse. Silence. Awkward. After the shock wore off she thought it might be better if I spoke with Ms. Isaac, the gay counselor. Ms. Isaac was really cool and she and I became good friends. She was open and supportive of me and everything that was going on in my life. We still talk to each other after all these years.’
Now, Roxx still sees limitations and problems within the LGBTI community, but also ways forward.
For her, the biggest issue is inclusion.
Having inclusion ‘within a community who knows exclusion all too well seems obvious but it’s not’, she states. ‘Intolerance within the LGBTI community seems antithetical to the movement.
‘As a woman of color I’d like to see more women and men of color represented in leadership roles within LGBTI organizations and see more organizations address issues that affect LGBTI communities of color.’
Roxx and Marin are in the thick of wedding planning.
As for if Beyoncé will attend, Roxx offers this answer: ‘Haha! Not likely at all… but that’d be cute, huh?’