The BBC Breakfast presenter, 44, who has three children with his wife Sarah, confessed they caught him watching a YouTube video titled ‘Charleston For Beginners’ and immediately questioned him about taking to the dancefloor.
Dan, who said he agreed to do the show because his kids said they ‘really wanted’ to see him take part, added he has already been warned to avoid introducing any of his ‘dad dancing’ into his Strictly routines.
Speaking to MailOnline ahead of the series launch, Dan said: ‘I nearly gave the game away, we all shared a YouTube account at home and the kids were looking up something and the last thing they saw was ”how to Charleston for beginnings” and then they said ”dad is there something you want to tell us?”
‘Obviously I talked it through with my wife Sarah, I didn’t tell the kids until the weekend before the Tuesday I was announced, I don’t know why I was so secretive about it, and I had lots of stuff to talk about so I wanted to keep it to one side really.’
Dan had previously revealed that he had been approached by bosses in the past about taking part in the show, and he finally agreed after being persuaded by his family.
He added: ‘I’ve got 3 kids, who are 14, 12 and 10 and they sat me down at Christmas and they said ”dad if you get asked again we’d really like you to do it.”
‘I’ve done a lot of telly that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and it’s rare to do something your kids are really invested, and they’ve only ever asked me to do two programmes, Saturday morning mashup and this.
‘And the other reason is that I cover a lot of news and the last 18 months has been grim story after grim story, and I thought an opportunity to do something that’s fun and just have a bit of a giggle and learn a new skill.’
‘I’ve rinsed YouTube, my 14-year-old, she went back to dance lessons yesterday so she’s told me a few moves and also shaking her head a bit when we have a kitchen disco.
‘My 10-year-old son is a proper little mover, he just enjoys dancing about so hopefully there’s some genetic mix that I’ve got some dancing genes in there.
‘I haven’t been doing that much practice in there, normally some music comes on, I move like a goon and they say ”dont do that on the telly.”’
Dan left his Breakfast co-host Louise Minchin stunned when it was revealed he was part of the Strictly lineup last month, with the presenter furious she hadn’t been told before the news was announced live on the show.
He told MailOnline: ‘Louise was very surprised, when she was on the programme and she got announced it was a bit of a shock, even though she’d been told it wasn’t me.
‘She finishes on Breakfast the week Strictly starts, so that’s going to be a bit weird.
‘I know Naga, Carol, Mike, Chris, Ore there’s been a lot of people over the years who have done the show and really enjoyed it as well, They’re fully supportive and hopefully I won’t let the breakfast team down.’
Dan added that he has already met Strictly’s no-nonsense head judge Shirley Ballas, after they climbed Mount Kilimanjoro together for a Comic Relief special.
But the broadcaster insisted this won’t give him an advantage because he hasn’t managed to pick up any of her dancing skills.
He explained: ‘I know when it comes to dance pedigree she’s got the lot, when we were up Kilimanjaro, Shirley was quite distressed on the first night, as she said camping isn’t really her thing.
‘She was amazing on that trip and she was doing it and being inspired by her brother David and that really spurred Shirley on and I really got to know her quite well. She was feeling a bit down and I grabbed a blanket and did a bit of impromptu paso doble, and she laughed her head off.
‘I’m looking forward to seeing her, we’ve had a few reunions, and I think she’s great and incredibly talented.
‘I don’t mind taking criticism, whatever you say to dancing people I’m looking forward to being pulled apart by them.’
This year’s Strictly will see 15 celebrities take to the dancefloor with their professional partners, with the pairings set to be revealed in Saturday’s launch show.
Stars including actor Greg, comedian Judi Love, singer Tom Fletcher and presenter AJ Odudu will take to the dancefloor in their sequins in the hope of impressing the judging panel.
Despite the easing of Covid restrictions across the UK, bosses have confirmed that many of last year’s protocols will continue for this series, including couples forming Covid-safe ‘bubbles’ so they can train and perform safely.
The show will also see the return of a live audience, after most of the 2020 series was plagued by England’s ongoing lockdowns.
Strictly Come Dancing returns on Saturday 18th September on BBC One.