Dancing With The Stars [DWTS] has been television phenomena for years, where you can catch your favorite celebrity strutting their moves on the dance floor. But while everyone knows about the stars that are performing, what about the professional dancers who bring the show to life?
Expressing himself through dancing for as long has he can remember, Keo Motsepe has carved out an incredible journey for himself that still has several unwritten chapters sure to come. Hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa, Motsepe fell in love with the art of rhythmic bodily movement at the ripe age of five years old. Naturally gravitating to Latin and Ballroom dance, he parlayed his love to the competitive dance scene where he shined for much of his early childhood years through his teenage years.
Fast forward to 2012 and the famed dance show Burn the Floor [BTF] makes its way to the Johannesburg Theater. Auditions for the show were on the horizon and Motsepe knew this was an opportunity to take his career to another level. After an hour-long audition, Motsepe was sure the stage was too big for him and that he did not make the cut to join the BTF family. Lo and behold, the producers and choreographer were mind-blown by him and extended the opportunity to join BTF. Without hesitation, Keo snatched the opportunity and never looked back.
His inner spirit and devotion for dance is immediately profound and Motsepe professes that desire to the universe. “I get myself pumped up to dance. It’s that simple. I love to dance from the heart. I love music, the people, and to leave a mark on someone’s soul by dancing.” Those words alone coupled with some exceptional skills opened the door to the DWTS franchise and made his first appearance on the show in 2014.
Currently knee-deep in his longest run on DWTS, the South African prince is getting a chance to prove he is a talent to be reckoned. Paired with dance partner Jodie Sweetin, who you may remember as Stephanie Tanner from Full House, full advantage is being taken of on his fourth season on the show. After earlier exits in seasons prior, his spirits are high as Motsepe saw the departures as a silver lining only to become greater and even more resilient in the face of being disappointed. “After being bumped off, I would tell myself: You know what, you’re better than this. Show everyone what you can do. Don’t stop. Let’s try again and keep pushing.” His mindset has clearly renewed him, re-energized him, and reinforced his desire to be at the top of his game, as he seeks continued success.
Keo has his parents to thank for the never say die attitude was drilled into his very fabric. Both his mother and father have served as an inspiration to him and have impacted his approach to his everyday life. Cementing pillars of selflessness and self-belief within him, each dance move is made with his parents teachings alongside him. “Respect everyone that you see and meet. It’s not for them, it’s for you.” This quote from Papa Keo is something that his son recites to himself frequently and guides him in dancing, life, and what how he envisions in the future.
In looking five to 10 years down the road, the kid who used to dance playfully in South Africa, is making grown plans as he surveys life after his professional career. Whether he is chowing down Chic-Fil-A on a cheat day or pondering on how to stimulate his own self-growth, other opportunities to make a positive imprint on the world are gradually creeping out of the mind and being turned into a reality. Outside of having an entrepreneurial hand on a number of South African properties, uplifting others just as his South African culture has taught him is a priority that is on the Motsepe agenda. He plans to utilize his dancing platform to promote social change for future generations. “The African people like to see one another grow. We push each other in everything. So I tell myself, what can I do create a charity where I can help kids from my country to become soccer players to become the next star? I mean it can be anything, I will just always want to help so people can be successful.” With giving back and entering charitable endeavors in the near future, Motsepe will be reinforcing those early lessons that the parental unit equipped him with into the immediate community he grew up in, as well as on an international scale.
But before becoming a global leader in the philanthropic world, he is focused on dominating DWTS. It would be wise to keep an eye on his journey, as he has charged himself with pushing new limits and looking to bring everyone along for the ride.