Rushton was born on 18 March 1963 in Birmingham. He trained at The Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden, London, from 1979 to 1982, studying with Erik Bruhn, Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan. Later he danced with the Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet, now known as the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Since 2001 Tim Rushton has been artistic leader of the Danish Dance Theatre. Rushton is today one of Denmark's leading choreographers, having been seven times nominated for—and three times won—1999, 2005 and 2006—that country's Reumert Prize; since 2006 he has been listed in Kraks Blå Bog, the Danish Who's Who.