New to the Carmel community is the Fred Astaire Dance School at 820 E. 116th St. Owner and retired world champion, Dan Rutherford, decided it was time to relocate when business seemed to be dancing its way to the top.
Although Rutherford and his dance studio may be new to the community, he is by no means new to the dance world.
Rutherford is not your average business owner, dance instructor or father. If one doesn’t recognize Rutherford by name, one may know some of his friends such as Johathan Ropers (who will be making an appearance at the studio on Sept. 20 for a meet and greet), Tony Dovolani, and Derek Hough; all of whom are professional dancers on the television show “Dancing With The Stars.”
Rutherford grew up in a family of dancers and skaters. At the age of 5, he started dancing jazz and has since danced with some of the world’s most known professionals. However, it wasn’t until he took a college course at Indiana University in ballroom dancing that he realized ballroom dancing was his true passion. After the course, Rutherford decided to pursue ballroom dancing at a local dance school.
“I remember telling my teacher at my first lesson that I was going to do this for the rest of my life,” Rutherford said.
Even though he is a retired world champion, Rutherford still trains others to do what he once did along with judging competitions outside of the United States.
“Training is one of the hardest parts of the job,” Rutherford said.
Throughout the years Rutherford has made appearances on shows like “Dancing With The Stars,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and “America’s Ballroom Challenge” on PBS. He also has worked on movie sets with celebrities such as Ben Affleck and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Recently, Rutherford had his costume maker who works for Jordy International, the dressmakers to the World Professional Latin Champions, come into the studio so that Rutherford’s dancers could be fitted and try on some of the dresses. Jordy International also has created some of the outfits seen on “Dancing With The Stars.”
Fred Astaire Dance School accepts all ages and is willing to work within anyone’s budget.
“Currently, our youngest dancer is 10-years-old and our oldest is 80-years-old,” Rutherford said. “We will work with anyone’s budget if they want to dance.”
With nine teachers and two administrative staff members Fred Astaire Dance School customizes all its programs for every individual keeping in mind what they want to gain.
“One person may come in wanting to lose weight and another may just want to gain more self confidence,” Rutherford said. “We have had people come into the studio and lose over 100 pounds.”
Confucius a wise philosopher once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Walking into Fred Astaire Dance School one will quickly realize that Rutherford has never worked a day in his life. One could tell by all the smiles on the employees’ faces that there is never a dull moment in the studio. Rutherford and his staff are constantly on the wide wooden dance floor practicing or teaching.
“I believe our studio not only turns peoples lives around, but it also gives them a renewed life again,” Rutherford said.
For more information about Fred Astaire Dance School, visit www.fredastaireindianapolis.com or call 900-1767.