Danica McKellar slipped back into her dance shoes — and dusted off her glitter leotard — to help Dancing With the Stars pro Gleb Savchenko make his movie debut.
In Us Weekly’s exclusive look at Great American Family’s Swing Into Romance, McKellar, 48, revealed that her moves are still intact following her 2014 stint on DWTS. In the behind-the-scenes clip, McKellar swapped out her season 18 partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, to team up with Savchenko, 40.
“It was SUCH a joy to relive the thrill of my time on Dancing with the Stars with the incredible Gleb Savchenko,” McKellar wrote in column via Great American Family ahead of the SAG-AFTRA strike in Hollywood. “The cool and unique part was that we were mentors to each other: Not only did he mentor me in dance, but this was first acting role, so I had the great pleasure to mentor him in acting!”
Swing Into Romance will be Savchenko’s first movie appearance after becoming a TV staple on DWTS. He joined the reality series as a pro in 2013 for season 16 and has since competed on nine more seasons.
The Great American Family project was filmed prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike, which began in July. The picketing is still ongoing as the Screen Actors Guild union members fight against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) for better streaming residuals among other labor issues. (SAG members are forbidden from promoting struck work or starting new projects, with a few exceptions, as the strike persists.)
“We would alternate between dance rehearsals and acting rehearsals over the weekends. He was like a sponge with everything I taught him and did a terrific job playing my ex-fiancé and ex-dance partner — you’d never know it was his first acting job,” McKellar wrote of her time on set with Savchenko. “And dancing with him is some of the most fun I have ever had on a movie set!”
McKellar revealed that she and Savchenko referred to their filming location in Canada as “Art Camp,” which is evident by the chemistry the two have on the dance floor in rehearsals.
“It was Acting Camp for Gleb and Dance Camp for me and David [Haydn-Jones],” she added. “A treasured time for sure!”
In the movie, McKellar plays Christine Sims, who discovers her family’s General Store is in trouble after returning to her hometown for the annual Fall Festival. Savchenko portrays Christine’s ex-fiancé, whom she must reunite with to help keep her family’s legacy alive. Hadyn-Jones, 45, enters the picture as Christine’s new love interest.
Watch the exclusive video above to see how well McKellar and Savchenko connected in the dance studio — and catch the full film next month as part of Great American Family’s Great American Autumn lineup.
Swing Into Romance premieres on Great American Family Saturday, October 7, at 8 p.m. ET.