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Home and Away star shares surprising secret ahead of Dancing with the Stars

James Stewart will be hoping to win the coveted Mirrorball Trophy.

James Stewart is one of Australia’s leading actors, best known for his role as Justin Morgan in beloved Seven drama Home and Away.

But he’s about to take on a very new role in uncharted waters — as a contestant on this year’s Dancing with the Stars.

He’ll be dancing with Jorja Freeman in hopes of winning the coveted Mirrorball Trophy and for his chosen charity, The McGrath Foundation.

“I wanted to try something new and my daughter is just starting to get into dancing,” James said, referring to Scout, his daughter with former partner Jessica Marais.

“I spoke with a few of the Home and Away cast who have done Dancing with the Stars before, and they encouraged me to go for it,” he added.

Plenty of Home and Away stars have taken to the dancefloor over the years for the show, including the likes of Emily Weir, Ada Nicodemou and the late Johnny Ruffo.

James said he grew up around music and had a good “hip-hop shuffle”, so he felt he had a good grip on the concepts of rhythm, beat and tempo.

But that didn’t mean he wasn’t terrified of fluffing it on the dancefloor.

“I have plenty of fears!” he admitted.

“It’s a really vulnerable position to be in, to all of a sudden not be good at something while the whole country watches you.”

But he has a secret that may help him master some of the dances — a love of classical music.

“My mum raised me on it, so when I get to a waltz, foxtrot or anything with orchestral pieces in it, I think I’ll feel like I’m at home,” he admitted.

However, James added that he often had trouble relaxing when he was concentrating, and that might be his dance partner Jorja’s biggest challenge.

“When I’m trying to get something right, I get tense and I stop breathing because I’m so focused on getting that one thing right,” he explained.

As for his biggest threats on the show, James had trouble naming just one.

“Oh, there are so many,” he said.

“The golden girl, Lisa McCune, will be the one to beat.

“I grew up truly loving her work, so I think she’ll have an incredible work ethic.

“I think Shane Crawford is a dark horse.

“But who knows, ultimately Ant Middleton could throw a grenade and blow this whole competition apart!”

Dancing with the Stars 2024 full line-up

• Adam Dovile – Better Homes and Gardens DIY presenter

• Ant Middleton – SAS Australia Chief Instructor

• Ben Cousins – AFL legend and 7NEWS Sport presenter

• Hayden Quinn – Chef

• James Stewart – Home and Away Actor

• Julie Goodwin – Chef

• Lisa McCune – Actor

• Nadia Bartel – Fashion designer and model

• Nikki Osborne – Comedian

• Nova Peris – Olympian and former senator

• Samantha Jade – Singer

• Shane Crawford – AFL royalty

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