Dancing with the Stars is one of television’s most popular and enduring competition shows. It combines the thrill of athletics, the power of artistry, and the entertainment of watching celebrities dance. While most of the attention is predictably centered on the celebrities, the backbone of the program is the professional dancers who are paired with the celebrities. Not only are these dancers tremendously skilled, they often have personal lives that are far more interesting than their famous partners.
One such dancer is the South African Keo Motsepe. A veteran of the show, he is paired with Charo for the 24th season which began on March 20th. While fans of the show may know him for his exceptional dancing, few understand how incredibly diverse and inspiring his background truly is. In order to better appreciate the wonder that is Keo Motsepe, here are 10 lesser known facts about the dancer.
10. He has been dancing since he was a child
Motsepe has stated that it was a friend who persuaded him to begin dancing. At only 5 years of age, he knew that soccer was not his sport. Luckily, he had a friend who urged him to take a dance class. He was hooked immediately, and began dancing competitively at age 11.
9. He had an incredible career before making his television debut
Years before he would appear on the small screen, Motsepe made a name for himself by becoming one of South Africa’s most accomplished dancers. In fact, he would sweep every national dance title in the country over a span of 8 years. With such an astounding career, it is no surprise that he would be considered an asset on a show like DWTS.
8. DWTS is not his first dancing show
Although his current role may be the highest profile, Motsepe is already accustomed to performing on television. In 2013, he danced on Strictly Come Dancing South Africa, and before that toured with the live theatrical dance show Burn the Floor. He stated that he has even performed on Norwegian Cruises.
7. He cares deeply about his family
While many individuals may become isolated from their families after making it big on a popular program like DWTS, Motsepe remains very attached to his family. In fact, he has stated that his mother encouraged him to dance as a child, partly because it meant he would not come home dirty from playing outside.
As a more concrete representation of his love for his famiy, Motsepe has two tattoos on his wrist. One is of his nephew’s name, and the other is his family’s initials.
6. Keo Motsepe Net Worth
For most dancers, dancing is a passion that is pursued at the expense of making a living. For a lucky few, like Motsepe, it can be a viable career path. After his distinguished career in his home country and appearing on several shows, Motsepe has earned a comfortable living. While most estimates of his personal wealth stand at roughly $300,000, some have it as high as $2 million. Regardless, as he is set to impress fans on the current season of DWTS, it can be certain that his wealth will continue to rise.
5. Dancing is not his only passion
Motsepe may be best known for his dancing, but his interests are quite diverse. One of his most interesting passions is cars. He has stated that his favorite make is Aston Martin. Interestingly, he holds a certificate in advanced driving in South Africa, which allows him to take cars onto the racetrack.
4. He believes that dance taught him how to respect women
For Motsepe, dance is far more than a sport or art. He believes it is the perfect way to learn important values like respecting women. He explained this by stating that in Latin or ballroom dance, you can never rely solely on yourself. You must give 100% of yourself to your partner, and your partner must give 100% of him/herself to you. This constant reliance on another person breeds respect. Further, he believes that in his disciplines, the man acts as the frame while the woman is the picture.
3. He is a prince
Although today it may be more of a technical role than the lavish, fairy tale lifestyle that the word “prince” might suggest, Motsepe is actually a prince in South Africa. His grandfather was the prince of a region in Johannesburg, but his father declined the title. As Motsepe is the only son of his father, he is currently the prince of the region.
2. He is an incredible linguist
In addition to dancing and driving, Motsepe seems to have an impressive knack for learning languages. He has stated in the past that he can speak 6 different languages. These are: Afrikaans, Setswana, a bit of Zulu, Sesotho, Pedi, and English. It makes one wonder how individuals like Motsepe have time to develop so many astonishing skills.
1. His television roles have been ground-breaking
As stated above, dance is far more than a sport for Motsepe. In addition to teaching him respect for others, dance has also been an avenue for social progress. With his DWTS debut in 2014, Motsepe became the first black professional dancer on the show. In addition, he was the first South African dancer to participate in Burn the Floor.
While most fans of DWTS know Motsepe as a charismatic and talented dancer, he is actually far more impressive. In addition to his incredible dance career, Motsepe is a talented driver and can speak 6 different languages. Further, he has used dance as a way to express and embody gender and racial equality. His life is not one that can be relegated to a single aspect, regardless of how brightly he shines on the dance floor. Motsepe is an artist whose determination, talent, and character have earned him tremendous success. The more viewers who are aware of the man’s impressive background, the better they will appreciate his work.