As a boy, Father Mike Fritsch of Danville’s Mary Queen of Peace Catholic Church, remembers his parents often going dancing.
“When I was growing up, they would go almost every Saturday in Brazil (Ind.) to the Elks or to the Knights of Columbus,” Fritsch said. “That was the 60s. People would get dressed up, got out and have a good time.”
Fritsch did theater and sang, but never would’ve described himself as a dancer. That changed this year when he was recruited as a contestant in Dancing with the Hendricks County Stars.
Fritsch will be dancing with his instructor, Ana Fernandez, at the April 29 fund-raiser for the Hendricks County Museum.
“(Contestants) pick dances out of a hat,” Fritsch said. “I was the last one. I got something called the bachata, which is from the Dominican Republic, so it’s a Latin thing. I’d never even heard of it.”
Despite his lack of dancing knowledge, Fritsch is pleased with his progress and feels comfortable doing the dance even though the priest in him had to tone down the amorous Latin aspects. He wanted to dance the swing because he remembers his parents doing it.
The dinner, silent auction, and contest will add open dancing this year for the audience. The affair will be held at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds Expo Hall and Fritsch says the contestants will be elevated on a stage.
In July, Fritsch will be celebrating his third year pastoring the 75-year-old Mary, Queen of Peace parish. He was ordained in 1985 for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. In college, he was a history major before seminary and was a teacher for a couple of years.
Mary Queen of Peace serves 500 families and is involved in several outreach projects. Fritsch says the church houses clients for Hendricks County’s Family Promise, along with many other churches.
Other “Stars” include: Nina Criscuolo, WISH-TV news reporter; Yvonne Culpepper, COO at Hendricks Regional Health; Yao-Hsin and Dennis Dawes; Bill Franklin, owner of Courthouse Grounds; Eric Hessel, program officer for the Hendricks County Community Foundation; Captain Jill Lees with the Plainfield Police Department; Tracy Whetstone, groups manager at Visit Hendricks County; Ed Martin, retired CEO of Wabash Power Association; and our own ICON food writer, Faith Toole.
“It’s going to be fun,” Fritsch added a challenge to the other dancers. “I told Ana, if we’re going to be in this, we’re going to do our best.”