Miguel Maestre On Dancing For His Family: “My Wife Cried She Was So Proud”

We know he’s a whiz in the kitchen, but just how well will Miguel fare when it comes to slicing up the dancefloor?

Learning to cha-cha, flamenco and samba may sound worlds away from refining one's culinary skills, but according to The Living Room co-host, chef, and this year's Dancing With The Stars competitor, Miguel Maestre, the two art forms aren't so different after all.

"They're very, very similar!" the world-renowned chef told 10 daily.

"I've spent half of my life learning the art of cooking -- repeating knife skills, understanding flavours and studying cuisines -- and I've realised it’s a very similar learning process," he continued.

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"With dancing -- much like with cooking -- you learn from the basics. When you cook something delicious, it's from the right combination of ingredients, and with dancing, each dance move is an ingredient for a great performance. Both are beautiful forms of art, and both are ones I have fallen in love with."

The intense training sessions have had a positive effect on the TV chef's overall mental and physical health also. Weighing in at 115 kg at the start of his DWTS journey, the Spaniard shared he's already shed an impressive 8 kg.

"It's been a physical and an emotional rollercoaster! I'm a massive guy and I suddenly feel like I'm an apprentice all over again," he laughed, adding, "But I have been working very hard. I used to say 'never trust a skinny chef' -- but now I am one!" he joked.

Miguel and his dancing partner Megan Wragg are ready to salsa their way to the top. Image: 10.

"It's been a battle -- linking your brain to your body is harder than it looks -- but I have been touched by the love of dance. I'm nearly 40 and I feel as if I'm discovering a different part of myself -- like I've discovered a whole new layer to myself."

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And while it's admittedly no easy gig, the 39-year-old revealed that it is his wife Sascha and their two young children -- Claudia and Morgan -- that give him the strength to push himself in the competition.

"Oh my God! When Sascha and the kids came to training and watched me dance for the first time she cried because she was so proud!" he excitedly recounted.

"I don’t care what people think, but I care what my family thinks, so to see her tears of joy just gave me so much energy. Sascha has been so unbelievably supportive, she's a rockstar! I simply couldn't do it without her."

"She is so good at dancing already, too -- there’s nothing she’s not good at!" he gushed, adding, "But now I have the joy of looking forward to coming home, turning the music on and teaching my children how to dance. It's a beautiful thing."

While there's no doubt Miguel's biggest driving force is his family, he also revealed the emotional reason why he would be ecstatic to take home the prize money for his chosen charity.

"The money is a huge incentive as I'm hoping to raise funds for R U OK? suicide prevention. As you may be aware, chefs are really suffering -- we have seen it here in Australia, and with some of the world's most talented chefs," he said.

"I would love to raise awareness and to do something good for other people."

If you or someone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts, you can call beyondblue on 1300 224 636, Headspace on 1800 650 890, Lifeline on 13 11 14, the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, or the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. If it is an emergency, call 000.

Dancing With The Stars premieres Monday, February 18 at 7:30, only on 10 and WIN Network.

Feature image: Instagram