The former Labour heavyweight, who lost his seat in last year’s general election, said he wanted to show that politicians are human.
Mr Balls said that he missed the purpose of politics, but needed to try new things.
“Definitely a mid-life crisis, but I think you’ve got to embrace it and enjoy it,” he told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme.
“I’m quite worried about the jive because my hips don’t really move in quite the right way, but I have a great professional partner, and I have three weeks to train.
“But it’s a chance to say that politics is about human beings, and that those of us that come out of politics, in my sort of retirement phase, can do things that are quite exciting.
“We’ll get to see whether I can do something big again in the future, but in the mean time, what could possibly be bigger than going on Strictly?” Mr Balls said.