Josh Keefe and Courtney Act magic on Dancing With The Stars

Courtney Act and Josh Keefe - Episode 5.
Courtney Act and Josh Keefe - Episode 5.

VICTORIA Park-raised professional dancer Josh Keefe’s initial reaction was one of practicality when Shane Jenek first walked through the rehearsal studio door at the start of Dancing With The Stars this year.

It is the first same-sex partnership on the show, with Jenek in the rehearsal room and stage persona Courtney Act performing on the Ten program on Monday nights.

“I was hopeful I’d get someone who was up for the challenge, physically and mentally, because it’s really tough,” Keefe said.

“It took a moment to process and the first thing I thought was ‘wait, can I lift you?’ I tried to lift Shane and it was all fine.

“Building up to the first show, you’re really quite nervous because you never know how the celebrity is going to go on the live performance.

“That’s probably more nerve-racking then anything and once we got that out of the way, I realised I had a unicorn.”

Jimmy Giggle sizzles on Dancing With The Stars

Miguel Maestre back with family on The Living Room

Josh Keefe and Courtney Act – Episode 3.
Courtney Act and Josh Keefe – Episode 1.

Keefe said Jenek’s creative input to each dance had been crucial to their success.

“He loves telling a story and I love performing and the mechanics and beauty of the movement and dancing, so it’s a match made in heaven,” Keefe said.

“He’s got absolute magic.

“Empowering people through dance is my whole concept in life and I get to dance with someone who is an epic human and who is empowering a whole generation of people through dancing.”

Courtney Act and Josh Keefe – Episode 6.
Courtney Act and Josh Keefe – Episode 2.

Keefe’s introduction to dance came while attending South Perth Primary School when Kate Gilkison (of Gilkisons Dance Studio) would teach it as part of the curriculum.

He gradually fell in love with it and started attending Humphreys Dance Studio; by the time Keefe was 16 he was a Latin American specialist under the guidance of Michael Baker who he considers a father figure.

Keefe competed professionally until the end of 2013 (he was in the top 10 on the international circuit) and was supermodel Samantha Harris’s partner in the 2015 Dancing With The Stars season.

Now based in Hong Kong, Keefe founded Move for Life three years ago, which is a company that introduces dance to schools, in much the way it was introduced to him.

He said dancing for Jenek’s chosen charity, Black Rainbow, assisting in suicide prevention and social outcomes for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTI community, was a great motivator.

“It gives us a beautiful incentive, but I think just Courtney being in the competition and showing everyone how amazing she can be is also wonderful,” Keefe said.

“Sometimes I wonder if this is all really happening.”

More Lifestyle.

Josh Keefe.