Dan Maher is one of six Dedham “stars” vying for the most votes at the Dedham Education Partnership’s "Dancing with the Dedham Stars" fund-raiser at Moseley’s on the Charles on Dec. 8. His partner and teacher for the event is Rachel Palmier from Fred Astaire Dance Studios.
Maher recently took time to answer a few questions about his experiences so far and her thoughts just two weeks before the competition. The answers have been edited for clarity and style.
Q: Who are you and what do you do when you are not dancing?
Maher: My name is Dan Maher and I have been a financial adviser for 15 years helping Dedham and the surrounding communities with life insurance needs, college education savings, and retirement planning. In my spare time, I enjoy coaching youth baseball. I have been a baseball coach for the past five years in Dedham and have recently joined the Dedham Youth Baseball Board.
Q: Why are you participating in the Dancing with the Dedham Stars program this year?
Maher: I have always had a charitable inclination and love to be involved in my community. Dancing With the Dedham Stars is a great event and it raises a lot of money for Dedham schools and students. I have sponsored the event in past years and when I was asked to participate this year, I was honored and felt it was an offer that you can't pass up.
Q: What special skills do you have on and off the dance floor?
Maher: On the dance floor, I'd like to think I'm good at following directions. I want to let my professional partner call the shots and hopefully, she can make me look good. Off the dance floor, I really enjoy my involvement with Dedham Youth Baseball and coaching the kids. I love the game of baseball and I love being able to teach a young ballplayer how to play the game the right way. It is very rewarding to see the players I coach improve and have success and get enjoyment out of the game of baseball.
Q: What's been the best part of participating so far?
Maher: After the initial aches and pains and the realization that dancing is hard, I knew I needed to improve my strength and conditioning so I reintroduced myself to the gym.
Q: What has been the most challenging part of learning to dance?
Maher: Entering into Dancing With the Dedham Stars, I had virtually no dancing ability whatsoever. I was the guy at weddings that would rock moves such as the "shopping cart" or the "lawn sprinkler.” I lack both rhythm and coordination -- both essential to dancing. Being able to not only learn a dance routine, but to be able to perform it gracefully and appear effortless has proven to be a challenge. I hope to overcome that challenge for the performance.
Natalie Feulner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.