Juan Pablo Di Pace Shares Behind The Scenes Secrets From “Dancing With The Stars”

 Photo Credit: ABC/Craig Sjodin

Having started his career on the stages and screens of Europe, Juan Pablo Di Pace is now dancing his way into the hearts of Americans every week on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” The Buenos Aires-born actor who currently stars on “Fuller House” is considered a frontrunner in the show’s 27th season, where he is partnered with two-time champion Cheryl Burke. We chatted with the Argentine star about his love of dance, his biggest competition on the series and the advice his “Fuller House” co-stars (and past competitors) Candace Cameron Bure and Jodie Sweetin gave him before appearing on the show.

Di Pace and Cheryl Burke on "Disney" night
Di Pace and Cheryl Burke on “Disney” night

Photo Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless

How did the gig with “Dancing With the Stars” come to be?

In 2016 I went to see Jodie Sweetin on the premiere episode, and I remember it made a huge impression on me, just how cool it all seemed. So that was what sparked me thinking that one day I might do this, and two years later they came to me.

Were you always a fan of the show?

I’ve always been fan of the spectacle of the show, how well designed it is and how it’s a competition about ability which I love.

When you learned you were being partnered with Cheryl Burke, what was your reaction?

Because I watched Jodie’s season, and Cheryl wasn’t on that season, even though she’s a fan favorite I wasn’t aware of her as a pro. So I had to go and research her, and I was blown away. I could tell she was a really passionate choreographer and teacher. One thing that stood out to me was that the guys she was partnered with always shine through. She’s an incredibly altruistic pro. Cheryl just makes the guys look great, and she loves creating dances that go to the actual music and style.

Di Pace and Cheryl Burke on "Halloween"night
Di Pace and Cheryl Burke on “Halloween”night

Photo Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless

Who’s your biggest competition and why?

Everybody at this point – we all start from scratch every Tuesday with a new dance. So even though we got a perfect score this week, now it’s back to zero on my personal leaderboard.

How did you train and prepare for the show?

Before the show, I was still shooting Fuller House so I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare. I only really had 2 weeks with Cheryl before the first episodes. She actually told me not to be lifting weights and working out before, because we’d be working so hard and be so exhausted, so I listened to her! We train 5-8 hours a day in rehearsals.

You’ve appeared in a variety of dance-themed videos, shows and plays. How did you get into dance? What’s your earliest dance memory?

I’ve always had a huge love for dance, and I find it’s one of the most wonderful art forms. It’s all about communicating using your body. I was in quite a few musicals when I started my career, so I learned from there, but my first memory was being Danny Zuko in Grease in school. I watched the tape over and over to copy Travolta’s moves to the T.

Cheryl Burke, Di Pace and Melissa Rycroft on "Trios" night
Cheryl Burke, Di Pace and Melissa Rycroft on “Trios” night

Photo Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless

Your “Fuller House” cast mates Candace Cameron Bure and Jodie Sweetin have both competed on the show. Did either offer you any advice? What was it?

The advice that Candace gave me was to enjoy the first few weeks and have a blast, because later on it’s going to get intense. I sort of did the opposite because in the beginning I was a mess and it was way harder for me, but now I’m enjoying it so much more and I’m not so nervous on Monday nights. Jodie just told me to take it day by day because you can never predict what will happen – be in the moment rather than plan ahead.

What iconic dance movie would you like to remake and why?

Cabaret! Anything Bob Fosse really. “Chicago” or “All That Jazz.”

What’s next project-wise after “Dancing With the Stars?”

I’m working on new music right now, and “Fuller House” season 4 premieres on Netflix on December 14!