Dancing with the Stars contestant Johnny Ward has told RTÉ Entertainment that he and his professional dance partner Emily Barker are training 11 hours a day in a bid to stay in the competition and are taking nothing for granted.

Ward and Barker will dance a Viennese Waltz on Sunday for the show's Movie Week, and the actor told RTÉ Entertainment that he needs all the time in training that he can get, despite being one of the favourites to make the Grand Final in March.

"If myself and Emily were doing four-and-a-half hours a day, I wouldn't want that," he explained. "I can't do that, because things don't go in. We'll go on until half ten tonight, doing the same dance over and over and over again. 

"We just do it so much that you don't really have to think about it. You learn the dance and you learn the map and the geography of the dance and where it's going to go and where you're going to end up, but then it's all about perfecting it."

Ward described the show as "a once in a lifetime opportunity".

"People who I've met in the past from season one and season two, they just said their only regrets are: number one, that they didn't enjoy it as much as they should have done; and number two, they didn't put the time in."  

Before heading back to training, Ward added that he never looks past the Sunday dance ahead.

"Her number one focus is Dancing with the Stars"

"I think it's best to take it week by week," he explained.

"It's a balance of being as best a dancer as you can - trying to sell the illusion as much as possible - but also your personality coming through. It's all about the votes and publicity as well."

Dancing with the Stars, Sunday, RTÉ One, 6:30pm