'Dancing with the Stars': How Much Everyone Is Paid

Updated on August 23, 2019
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Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes about various things, including celebrities and entertainment.

Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars | Source

Many people love watching the popular dance reality show Dancing with the Stars on ABC since it began in 2005. Some people have wondered how much the celebrities get paid for putting their own careers on hold to participate on the popular dance competition show. Neither the producers of Dancing with the Stars nor ABC executives have ever released any information on how much the participants are compensated. However, this information is compiled from other sources.

Salary of Celebrities

Sometimes the public finds out about how much celebrity dancers get paid. For instance, when minors go on the show, their contracts have to be approved by a judge. Shawn Johnson and others were minors when they competed. Johnson was 16 at the time while others like Zendaya Coleman and Cody Simpson were 16 and 17 respectively. Bendi Irwin's salary was also made public. Heather Mills' salary had to be disclosed when she went through a divorce from Paul McCarthy after she competed on the show.

The initial amount guaranteed for everyone who signs up is a base salary of $125,000, but that contract also includes training for a minimum of 20 hours per week, which begins several weeks before the season even starts.

If celebrities make it to weeks three and four, they get an additional $10,000 each week. For week five, there is an additional $15,000. For weeks six and seven, an additional $20,000 for each week is added. For weeks eight and nine, $30,000 for each week is added. If the stars make it to the last two weeks, they earn an additional $50,000 each week. That brings the total to a possible $360,000 for those who make it to the finale, whether they win the Mirror Ball trophy or not.

It is interesting that all three contestants who make it to the finals get the same thing as the winner. The second and third place finalists walk away with the maximum payout of $360,000. The champion does not get any additional prize money for winning the competition. The winner and the pro partner get the Mirror Ball trophy and bragging rights.

Initial Amount for Signing Up
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
All three finalists get same amount
Week 12 - Three Finalists
$360,000 plus Mirror Ball Trophy
Dancing with the Stars Pros: Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Cheryl Burke, Derek Hough
Dancing with the Stars Pros: Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Cheryl Burke, Derek Hough

Salary of the Professional Dancers

What the professional dancers get for working two seasons a year on the show is a well-kept secret. However, there has been speculation about what they get. The professional dancers on Dancing with the Stars give up their lives for the show, working up to 10 weeks of airtime, plus about a month of pre-season rehearsals.

Professional dancers are paid much less than the celebrities. It was once reported that the pros made $1,600 per episode in the early days of Dancing with the Stars, but now they can earn as much as $5,200, depending on their popularity. The veteran pros can negotiate their salaries because they are the favorites. Veteran pros make a lot more than newcomers because of their seniority.

Because of the success of the show, making $5,200 per week might be a low figure. The average professional dancer's salary is close to $100,000 for the full season and practice time. The only thing we know for sure is that the pros dance all the way to the bank. We must also remember that during the pros' off-seasons from Dancing with the Stars, they have other gigs. Some of them have their own dance studios that keep money coming in.

Salary of Hosts

Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews are the currents hosts of Dancing with the Stars. Bergeron has been the host since the show started in 2005. There have been four women hosts since the show began.

According to reports, Bergeron, 63, makes $150,000 for each episode. That translates to about $1.6 million for an 11-episode season. It is hard to determine how much his current co-host, Erin Andrews, 40, makes. She is worth $20 million and has an annual salary of $2 million. However, those amounts are not all from hosting the reality show. She earns most of her money by being a sportscaster.

Women Hosts Along With Tom Bergeron

Season 1
Lisa Canning
Seasons 2-9
Samantha Harris
Season 10-17
Brooke Burke-Charvet
Seasons 18-27
Erin Andrews
Judges on "Dancing With the Stars": Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Julianne Hough, and Bruno Tonioli
Judges on "Dancing With the Stars": Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Julianne Hough, and Bruno Tonioli

Salaries of Judges

The three main judges who have been with Dancing with the Stars for all 27 seasons are Head Judge Len Goodman, 75, Bruno Tonioli, 62, and Carrie Ann Inaba, 50. The show is the American version of the British television series Strictly Come Dancing, which Goodman and Tonioli are also on.

Goodman was absent for much of season 19 and all of season 21. Julianne Hough, who was a professional dancer for Seasons 4-8, was added as a full-time judge on the panel for Seasons 19-21 after having been a guest judge in the previous two seasons. She did not return for Season 22, but she returned for Season 23. She left the show after she got married on July 8, 2017.

While no one knows for sure how much the judges make, it has been reported that they used to make $250,000 per episode up to Season 2. Then, because of the popularity of the show, they each now get $1.2 million per season. During the year, there are two seasons of the popular dance competition show.

Goodman and Tonioli reportedly get paid much more for judging the American version than the British version.

Are you a fan of 'Dancing with the Stars'?

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    • profile image

      Sandra J. Persiani 

      2 weeks ago

      I enjoy watching the competitions, but some of the celebrities needed to be voted off looooong before the left the show Which made possible winners for their abilities not have a chance The beginning seasons seemed more fare I hope there are not any major changes to the on screen personalities

    • profile image


      8 months ago

      Something so wrong with the voting system.

      maybe this show should give out 2 awards at the end - one for popularity and the other for talent. Seems like it would be a much fairer way to run the show. Let the professional judges rule the roost so to speak. Let them do their jobs as they are professionals and know/see how each celebrity improves each week. Then viewers can still have a say as to who they like to see win.

      Right now, although, I'm sure each and every celebrity works hard and long hours - some still don't measure up to others and that's understandable - but for them to go onto the next round when others have far exceeded them and are voted out - so wrong and must be very disheartening to those who are so much more talented and deserve to go on. I would think even though all the pros are professional and hard working - it must put a riff between them when in their hearts, they know either that their celebrity is gaining a spot on pure popularity and not talent or their celebrity deserves more respect and should be rewarded accordingly based on their talent.

      There has to be a better system put in place. They all give their all but not everyone can win and seeing this is suppose to be about talent - weither they gain through their long hours of practice and maybe a talent they are just discovering or they work hard against all odds and succeed . But no where should the popularity vote take over the talent portion.

      I love the show and as a non- professional or even a slight dancer/athletic, I see the injustice of it. With ratings going down, I can understand why. People love the show but want credit to be given fairly. A poor win is still a win but how do you feel when you know some one is much more deserving of it.........

    • profile image

      Cindy A. 

      8 months ago

      I did not understand how to vote on Season 28. To text the celeb's name and a number went over my head. I prefer call-in votes and prefer that MT and PT get to vote in addition to ET and CT.

      How Sean Spicer was getting his votes is beyond me! No way should he have lasted as long as he did while better dancers were elinminated! There has to be a better way for viewer participation voting.

    • profile image


      8 months ago

      Love Dancin with the stars. Hope it is on for many yrs. yet to come. Although would like to see it go back to twice a year. Fall & Spring, it goes by too fast!! Would also love to see them get: Neil Patrick Harris on there. He is a grrrreat entertainer, singer, dancer & actor. Love to see actress: Renee Zellwager on there also, Catherine Zeta Jones would be grrreat also, & love to see Kristin Chenowith on there also. We need to see some big well known names.

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      The stars should ost definitely make a lot more money, if not for all that talent where would the stars be? It’s a crying shame they are not compensated much more, absolutely.

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      Pro dancers should make much more than what they are getting. The Celebs are making a lot of money, but the Pros are the ones with the training skills and knowledge to be able to form the Celebs into doing those dances. The Hosts/Judges get paid too much in my opinion. Not to discredit their Titles, but they arent the ones who are doing the physical aspect of teaching the dances. I think the Pros should get at least double the amount of what they are getting now. The should be making more than the Celebs are. DWTS is so popular that the network could afford to pay their Pros much more than what they are getting...

    • profile image

      James Fodor III 

      9 months ago

      This great entertainment offers wholesome clean and happy programming

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      9 months ago from Richmond, VA

      The professional dancers should get paid. That's their job to dance. Besides, their time on "Dancing with the Stars" keeps them away from doing other things.

      Professional dancers do more than what we see on the one-hour reality show. The pros work a lot of hours getting the celebrities ready for what we see on the show.

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      Pro dancers aren’t getting paid enough. Not fair that everyone else makes soooo much more

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      So interesting that the celebrities get paid! I would never have guessed that! They gain so much in terms of exposure I would think they’d do it just for that!

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      Some are just to old,and i hate to see them judge,and stars use them for laughs

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      21 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Sandy, Thanks for reading my article about what the people on "Dancing with the Stars" get paid and for sharing your link about makeup articles.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      DREAM ON, thanks for reading my articles. I write a lot and post an article almost every day about things that interest me with the thought in mind that the topics will interest others as well.

      I look forward to reading your comments about some of my other articles.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      2 years ago

      I use to love watching Dancing With The Stars. It was too much t.v. ad cut into so many other activities I love to do. Something had to give. I admire all the talent. I loved the way you compiled the information for this hub. Very clever and I am very excited to see more of your work. Have a peaceful and holy night.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH, thank you so much for reading and commenting on my article! I love "Dancing with the Stars," and I watch the show every season!

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 

      2 years ago from USA

      This is very interesting information. Thanks for sharing.


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