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Kautzes prepare for Dancing with the Stars debut

January 20, 2019 GMT

GERING — The voice of Santana fills the home of Rhonda and Mike Kautz as the couple practices their choreography for the Soroptimist Dancing with the Stars fundraiser. As the aroma of lasagna spreads through the house Monday night, the couple turned on the music and danced around their living room to get in a couple more minutes of practice. While they twirl around the room, they are accompanied by their dog Aristotle who dances around their feet as they practice.

On Saturday, Jan. 26, the Kautzes will make their debut on the Dancing with the Stars floor and they are preparing to bring some rock ‘n’ roll to the competition.


The Kautzs have been married for 37 years and, although they have no formal dance training, they are enjoying the opportunity.

“We were asked if we would consider participating,” Rhonda Kautz said. “We are pleased to participate with this opportunity to help such a worthwhile organization.”

After they decided to enter, Rhonda said her husband chose a Santana song, although they are not dancing in a Latin style. Their style is purely an expression of themselves.

“He likes Santana and heard this Santana song and wanted to dance to it,” she said.

Mike said he chose the song based on his memory with the Santana album.

“It was one of the first records I ever bought,” he said. “I bought it when I was 14 years old. You have to go with what you know.”

While working through their routine, she said the hardest part is the repetition and being disciplined enough to continue practicing.

Another part of their performance is the attire. Rhonda said they found outfits in their closet that they do not have the opportunity to wear to nice events, so they are excited to dress up before taking the floor. Rhonda will be dressed in a converted bridesmaid dress that belonged to her daughter.

“This fundraiser is for a good cause and this will be my first time at the event, so I’m excited for the evening,” she said.

When they take the floor at the Dancing with the Stars event, Mike is hoping to bring some rock ‘n’ roll to the competition.

“I’m just trying to bring them back to the ’70s and let them enjoy the Santana music,” he said.

As the evening approaches, the Kautzes continue to practice their routine, which not only strengthens their dance moves, but also their relationship.

“It’s drawing us closer together,” he said. “When you’re married as long as we have been, you can start to grow apart a bit and it’s bringing us back together and we’re really enjoying it.”