The Secret Behind the Paychecks of Celebrities and Pro Partners on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Even though Dancing with the Stars has never disclosed the salaries of its celebrity competitors, information about their pay has leaked out through a variety of channels. It turns out that all celebrities earn the same amount of money, regardless of how well-known they are in real life.

How Much Do the Stars Make on Dancing with the Stars?

A number of sites, including Variety, claim that celebrities start at $125,000 per year, which includes at least 20 hours of weekly training—which begins many weeks before the season debut.

However, if a celebrity receives votes and continues in the game, the payout increases. There is a financial incentive to continue in the game, in addition to the obvious reason that nobody wants to be eliminated in the first few weeks due to pride. Stars who advance to weeks three and four will receive an additional weekly bonus of $10,000.

If they make it to week five, they will receive an additional $15,000; if not, they will receive $20,000 per week in weeks six and seven; in weeks eight and nine, their bank account will receive $30,000 in payments.

Additionally, each week there is an extra $50,000 in prize money, and the winner receives the Mirror Ball trophy, if they are fortunate enough to advance to the semi-finals and final.

If the rumoured estimates are accurate, the stars who advance to the finale of an 11-week season might win a total of $360,000. It wasn’t a bad pay day, but according to reports, in 2019 the final three could only get a maximum of $295,000. It is undoubtedly still a noteworthy sum, though.

How Much Do the Dancers Make on Dancing with the Stars?

Regarding the professional partners, the figures are considerably less striking and somewhat less documented. They have to choreograph the dance routines, train their celebrity partner for at least 20 hours a week, and perform on the show as part of their work.

Pros are said to start making $1,600 per episode, which incentivizes them to stick with the season as long as they can in order to maintain their income. However, there is talk that the pros who have been on the show for multiple seasons and have developed a fan base are able to negotiate a wage that can reach $5,200 per episode, but they must remain in the competition in order to receive it. Once more, DWTS has never confirmed these pay, so the rumoured $100,000 season cap for professional dancers is just conjecture.

The Halo Effect

But there are other financial benefits to joining DWTS in addition to the payment. Enhancing their careers is a goal shared by many of the celebrities that compete on Dancing with the Stars. As a result, they get different jobs after competing on the ABC competition show.

The winner of Season 19 (2014), Alfonso Ribeiro, is an excellent illustration. In 2015, he was brought on as the presenter of America’s Funniest Home Videos, an ABC revival, after making an appearance on DWTS. Naturally, Alfonso will host DWTS when Season 32 debuts, something that might not have been feasible had he not competed.


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The story of brother and sister duo Julianne and Derek Hough, who started off as business partners and went on to star in TV shows, films, and their own touring show, is another notable success story to come out of DWTS. Derek was hired as a judge on both World of Dance and DWTS, Julianne returned to co-host Season 32 of DWTS, and both Houghs won Emmys for choreography.

ABC broadcasts Dancing with the Stars at 8 p.m. ET/PT. airs onDisney+ the following day.

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