Meet the Mountain Stars: Mike and Anna Dudick
Special to the Daily
“Don’t you worry if you can’t dance; let the music move your feet,” sings Gloria Estefan in “Conga,” the tune to which Mike Dudick, Breckenridge Town Council Member and timeshare developer, will grace the dance floor on October 1 for St. Anthony Summit Medical Center’s annual Dancing with the Mountain Stars event. “Well, I can’t dance and I’m worried,” Dudick joked.
“You know how (when you’re young) your parents always do something to embarrass you?” he asked. “Well I’m doing the ultimate thing to embarrass my kids right now by dressing up in a salsa outfit and dancing in front of a thousand people.”
Dudick moved to Breckenridge in 1988 after graduating from the University of Kansas. He is now one of three owner/developers of Grand Lodge on Peak 7 in addition to two other timeshare properties in Breck. When he’s not working (and he tells those who know him to stop laughing) he enjoys playing golf, traveling and hanging out with friends and family.
Mike will not be the only Dudick to dance October 1, as his wife, Anna, is slated to dance the cha-cha for the event. Rather than oppose one another, however, the Dudicks have found comaraderie in the challenge. They go to the studio together, where “she does her half hour; then I do mine,” Dudick said. “We’ve recorded each other on the iPads and she’s doing great,” he added, applauding their local coach, Debbie Swartz.
Dudick is also the proud father of four children, about whom he said, “I have two in college, one senior in high school and then Henry our little 3-year-old. When they heard I was doing (Dancing with the Mountain Stars) they all burst out laughing like it was the funniest joke of all time. My daughter is threatening to skip homecoming that night so she can watch her dad.”
“I’m not a dancer and I know that I have no rhythm – but if I’m having a good time and if it helps the event then I’m happy to be able to do it,” he said, adding that at 6’2″ and 250 pounds, his body “wouldn’t be in the same dictionary” as what you might think a male dancer’s body should look like.
“I think they picked this for me because I can be a little silly. At the same time I have a great professional dancer and I’m kind of guiding her around the floor. There’s lots of spinning and twirling and picking her up – and I’m just the prop,” he said, concluding: “I feel fantastic to be part of such a great fundraiser. It’s fun to try to learn something new and push myself way outside my comfort zone.”
Can an All-American college soccer player transfer her athletic ability to the dance floor? That’s the question Anna Dudick asked when she agreed to take part in Dancing with the Mountain Stars. Dudick, wife of follow competitor Mike Dudick, played soccer for four years at Indiana University before graduating with a B.S. in environmental science with a minor in business and economics. She’s a top-notch athlete – but does that translate to good dancing?
A few months of practice later and the answer is “no” – at least, not necessarily.
“One of the things I discovered from this whole experience is that being an athlete doesn’t give you rhythm on any level,” she joked, adding “I have a whole new respect for professional dancers.”
“I’m doing the cha-cha which requires (a) style and character that’s flirty, outgoing, and flamboyant. That’s the part that’s going to be a challenge for me,” Dudick said. “I feel like I have the technical part, but adding the style to the steps is what I’m working on.”
She decided to participate in order to support the hospital, to set a philanthropic example and to make her friends and family proud. In addition to dancing the cha-cha, Dudick also serves the Breckenridge Montessori preschool, Little Red School House, as board president and fundraising chair. In addition, she is a new volunteer with Angel Eyes of Colorado (formerly the Colorado SIDS Program) and is dedicating her dance in memory of her nephew Charlie, who died last November at the age of 2.
Dudick grew up in Cincinnati and moved to Breckenridge in 1998, marrying Mike in 2005. Now blessed with a 3-year-old son, Henry, in addition to three step-children, Michael, Sam and Chloe, she says her most important job is being a mom and a wife.
Her husband, Mike, is likewise supportive, providing more encouragement than heckling as it relates to Dancing with the Mountain Stars, even though he’s supposed to be her rival.
“I don’t know that I could have done this without him in the competition because he’s so supportive; I’m really pulling for him and he’s really pulling for me,” Dudick said.
Truth be told, she’s “rooting for all the dancers – because if they’re going through what I’m going through, it’s really getting them out of their comfort zone, and in front of a lot of people.”
Although she indicated that she’s pleased to be dancing to “a great song,” Dudick refused to divulge which song Emmy-nominated choreographer Mandy Moore selected for her.
“I’m very excited about the song I get to dance to,” she said.
As for everyone else – you’ll just have to wait until October 1 to find out what it is.
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