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PureDWTS Ask Court – How Do the Pros’ Contracts Work?

So we’ve been getting some questions on Twitter about how the pros’ contracts work – some of you were concerned about some of your faves leaving the show in the coming seasons, when their initial contract expires; others were just curious how the contracts work.  So here’s our best guess – keep in mind that contract negotiations in the biz are usually kept pretty hush-hush, for obvious reasons, so we don’t know exactly what’s written into each pro’s contract; this is just our best, educated guess based on what we’ve heard from people behind-the-scenes, what we’ve watched unfold, and what the pros themselves have said. Consider that your disclaimer 😉

How long are the pros’ contracts? From what we’ve been able to cobble from interviews the pros have done and intel we have from other sources at the show, it seems like the initial contract (the one the pros get when they first sign onto DWTS) is anywhere between 5-7 seasons (or 2.5-3.5 years), with a possible option to renegotiate after they’ve completed one year of their contract.  After their initial contract expires, it seems as though subsequent contracts are pretty open-ended – pros like Derek, Cheryl, & Kym seem like they’ve been able to negotiate on a season-by-season basis; other pros, like Lacey, appear to have gotten dropped from the roster and not offered a contract extension after their initial contract expired. Some of the one-and-done pros (think of the Jesse DeSoto’s, the Inna Brayer’s, the Tyne Stecklein’s, and the Andrea Hale’s of DWTS) likely were released from their contacts after only one season, when the producers were sure they weren’t going to use them again.

What does being “on contract” at DWTS entail? While being “on contract” certainly improves a pro’s odds of getting a partner each season, it’s not a guarantee; the only thing being on contract really means within the context of DWTS is that the show gets first dibs on you each season, and can use you for whatever purpose is within the scope of your contract – in this case, they can use you as a pro on the show, they can put you in the troupe, they can bench you for a season (and let you pursue other opportunities within that time frame, within reason), they can send you out on tour, they can send you to the (now defunct) Vegas show, they can send you out on one of the DWTS cruises, they can tap you for pro dances/bumpers, whatever. And as Lacey stated in an interview with Kristynyou only get paid if they actually use you.  But let’s say, like Sasha, you aren’t guaranteed a pro spot from season to season, and may alternate going back and forth from pro to troupe – the clock doesn’t stop on your contract, and you’re still burning up seasons on your contract whether you’re a pro, in the troupe, or not on the show at all. From what I can tell, TPTB can also veto any outside gigs you take if it puts you in direct competition with the network (although this seems to vary from pro to pro –  more on that later); so even though you’re getting paid (relatively) well when you are working for DWTS, there’s no guarantee you’ll be working from season to season, and they may also say “nope” to any outside jobs you try to take when you’re not working for them. This sort of exclusivity was ultimately the deal-breaker for a friend of mine who auditioned to be a pro back in 2009 – he had regular students back at his home dance studio, and couldn’t really wait till the last minute before each season to tell them whether he’d actually be around to teach them, and didn’t like the idea of having to “clear” any outside teaching/choreographing he was doing with ABC.

Do all the pros have the same contract? Definitely not.  At this point, some pros (i.e. Mark, Cheryl, Peta, Val, & Maks) have finished their initial contract and are likely negotiating from season to season or have shorter (perhaps year-long) contracts, and probably have more weight to throw around in terms of pay demands and special privileges; other pros still have a bit of time left on their initial contracts (if I had to guess, I think Sharna, Emma, Sasha, Lindsay, & perhaps Witney) and are probably going to be coming up on contract renegotiation time within the next season or two; the newbs (Alan & Jenna) still have a way to go on their initial contract and probably aren’t going to be renegotiating anytime soon.  So those are the differences in terms of length; we have noticed other differences in terms of privileges, though. Back when Julianne was still in her initial contract, she was offered a TV pilot, which TPTB nixed fairly quickly (I’m guessing it was on a rival network); however, Derek was offered a movie role (Make Your Move 3D) in the middle of his initial contract, and was allowed to take a season off to go film it (likely because the studio doing the movie wasn’t in direct competition with Disney, and Derek was the only 3-time MBT-holder and potential Emmy-winner at the time – so he had a bit more clout). Another interesting contractual “thing” we’ve noticed: Val, Mark, Emma, & Sasha have all been allowed to choreograph in the off-season for SYTYCD – but Derek was always prohibited from doing so. Our guess is that the higher-ups at DWTS probably saw him as a potential Emmy-generator, and didn’t want to run the risk of his choreography earning a potential Emmy nod for SYTYCD – so it may have been written into his contract that he was not permitted to choreograph for shows on rival networks. Since all of these negotiations happen behind closed doors and efforts are made to keep their terms confidential – we have no idea what could potentially be written into the pros contracts; but based on what we’ve seen, it’s a safe bet that not all contract are created equal.

Have the contracts changed at all over the years? Most likely yes.  I’m guessing all of the season 1 pros (Alec, Charlotte, Edyta, Louis, Jonathan, & Ashly) were probably only given contracts for that season, given that the network didn’t know if the show would catch on or not; once it was renewed for a second season, though, I’d guess that the pros that returned (everyone except Charlotte) were probably given longer, more exclusive contracts.  By the time Mark & Derek signed on in season 5, and it was clear the network had a hit with some longevity on its hands, the contracts probably got even more exclusive, as DWTS likely wanted to lock down their talent. I would guess at this point, the standard initial contract for new pros is probably pretty rigid & non-negotiable – so the newest pros, like Jenna & Alan, probably don’t have a ton of wiggle room until their initial contract expires.

If a pro’s contract is about to expire, does that mean they’re leaving the show??? Not necessarily. All an expiring contract really means is that a pro now has an opportunity to renegotiate their pay, the terms of their employment, the length of subsequent contracts, etc.  It’s a good thing, usually 🙂 And it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to jump ship. Just look at Derek – his initial contract expired several years ago (we’re guessing around season 15), and we still got 7 more seasons out of him before he finally hung up his dance shoes for good. I know some of you were worried about Sharna, whose contract I’m guessing is expiring after this coming season (season 27) – based on what we’ve seen of other pros whose initial contracts have expired, unless they haven’t used a pro in a few seasons (I think of Allison, who we haven’t seen since season 23; or Lacey’s last few seasons on DWTS, when she was pretty much on-the-bubble as a pro from season to season), I doubt they’re going to suddenly opt not to pick them back up during contract re-negotiations, unless a pro really starts making unreasonable demands or opts not to return on their own accord. And that’s something I think a lot of fans lose track of: eventually, the pros are likely to get offered new opportunities for growth in their careers, and are going to outgrow the capacity they have on DWTS…yes, if they’re your favorite, it’s sad to see them go, but if you’re a true fan, you understand that they can’t stick around forever and will eventually need to move on…which is often a good thing 🙂

Any other questions/thoughts about the contracts? Leave ’em below and we’ll try to answer them.

May 29, 2018 I Written By

Ultrasound sales specialist by day, semi-knowledgeable DWTS fan by night...with a smattering of hair & makeup enthusiast, occasional model, baker, and crazy cat lady peppered in to make things REALLY interesting ;-) I might pee my pants in happiness if Donnie Wahlberg ever does DWTS - or if they ever use "Sunglasses at Night" as a paso doble.

Julianne Hough Reflects On DWTS Athletes season and DWTS Past and Present

Former DWTS professional dancer/judge Julianne Hough was interviewed while in NYC, and asked to reflect on this season of DWTS, and you can read the entire article here.  While she admitted that she hadn’t yet had a chance to see the Finale, PopCulture did talk to her about DWTS present and past. “I actually really loved [pro Sasha Farber] and [former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding],” Hough told PopCulture. “I thought they were great. I just felt like she has such a willingness to do well and worked really hard, and I just love Sasha so much and how much effort he puts into his partners and stuff. So just from the outside, I was like, ‘Oh I hope they do well, I hope they make it to the finals and stuff.’”

It’s been 11 years since Julianne won her first season, with Apolo Ohno way back in Season 4. At the time, he was the youngest celebrity to ever do the show, AND he was also training as a speed skater, and I think he was the first celebrity to try to juggle both their career and their dancing. She was all of 18 years old, and still, I don’t know if there’s another professional dancer winner in ANY of the versions of the show, that’s been THAT young (however if I’m wrong, please correct me).

Anyone who has been watching DWTS since nearly the beginning knows, it’s been evolving since the beginning. And they also talked to Julianne about the differences between DWTS:The Early Years and DWTS:The Present Years.

“I can’t believe it’s been 11 years,” she told PopCulture, “That was such a fun time when I was on the show, because it was in the beginning when there wasn’t a lot of production, you weren’t allowed to use props, we didn’t have dancers behind us, it was just the two of us … and it was very technical.”

As to whether she prefers the more basic roots of the dancing show or where it is today, the Grease Live star saw the merit to each style.

“I like both,” she told PopCulture. I think that sometimes performance can outweigh the dancing, and that’s totally fine, but sometimes I feel like you just want to see it stripped down for what it is. I like both things and you know what, we have to keep moving with the times. If you’re not moving with the times you’re going to be left behind.”

She continued: But I think there’s also something to be said for holding onto the importance of why and getting back to basics … and that’s actually connecting people to their bodies so they feel like they know how to dance at the end of the show.”






May 22, 2018 I Written By

Just a typical, ordinary DWTS fan..

DWTS Season 26 “End Of The Season” Questionnaire (Grade With Poll, Top Three Dances, And More)

So, now that the Dancing With The Stars Season 26 is over, how are you feeling about it? Answer the questions below and let us know straight up how you feel in comments!!

1. Which couple should win the Best Costume Award for Dancing With The Stars Season 26?

2. From the celebrity contestants on Dancing With The Stars 26, who surprised you the most?

3. From the couples dances, which were your most favorite THREE dances on Dancing With The Stars Season 26? You can name more if you can’t stop at three.

4. If you were to give a “Choreograph Award” to ONE pro on Dancing With The Stars Season 26, who would it be?

5. From an “A” to an “F”, how would you grade Dancing With The Stars Season 26? Take our Poll below and tell us how you feel.

Thanks, Everyone! You rock!!xx

I Written By

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul" ~ Martha Graham. That's what DWTS makes me think of every Monday night. To read more about me and my other interests, see Lisa Kay Photography. You can also follow me at Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud.

GMA After Party For The Dancing With The Stars Season 26 Finalists – Full Video

It’s always fun to see the finalists on Good Morning America for a little after party. Thanks to @Idolxfactor1 for recording. Stay tuned for a “Grade and End of the Season” post coming up in a little bit.

ETA: Here is Adam and Jenna on Kelly and Ryan as well…

I Written By

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul" ~ Martha Graham. That's what DWTS makes me think of every Monday night. To read more about me and my other interests, see Lisa Kay Photography. You can also follow me at Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud.

Dancing With The Stars Season 26 Finale Post Dance Media And Interviews

Let’s get right to the media and post dance interviews after the Dancing With The Stars finale last night. First, if you missed seeing the show, see (these videos work internationally and will only be available for 24 hours) and the official Your Tube page. Don’t miss viewing Getty Images for some wonderful performance photos and more.

To start off with interviews and recaps, see ABC7. Also see FOX and People for their recaps and interviews. Check these links later too as more may be released.

And now for these…


E News:


Be watching Dance Network, Extra, ET, ET Facebook, E Online, FOX411, People, and Access Hollywood in case they post more recaps or interviews later. Also, stay tuned for GMA coverage and a new End Of The Season Questionnaire as well. Thanks for reading and all of your comments and participation, Everyone.

I Written By

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul" ~ Martha Graham. That's what DWTS makes me think of every Monday night. To read more about me and my other interests, see Lisa Kay Photography. You can also follow me at Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud.

Private Members Area – DWTS Season 26 Athletes Finale

It’s time again for Dancing with the Stars chatter! Share your thoughts and insights on this week’s episode of Dancing with the Stars Athletes edition from the comfort of the Pure DWTS Private Members Area. If you’re not a Pure DWTS Insider yet, you can do so here. If you are, then I look forward to the discussion in the comments.
Read more..

May 21, 2018 I Written By

Better known as Charlie.

Dancing with the Stars Season 26, The Finale – LIVE BLOG (SPOILERS)

Plus a few numbers thrown in, since I totally spaced on Dancing by the Number, thanks to my travel schedule. 🙂

Well, advantage Adam, since he has the second “no rules” dance this season while everyone else is doing ballroom. That’s only one reason why I think he’s going to win this season. Another reason is his partnership with Jenna – they’ve really clicked.

He also has an advantage if the numbers spread is similar to what it was at the end of last week. The difference between this week and last week, however, is that there will be two full dances worth 30 points each. That tightens the spread a bit.

I predict that the first dance goes something like this (unless the judges totally cop out, which they could):

Tonya – 26
Josh – 28
Adam – 30

The freestyle? I think Josh and Adam get perfect scores and Tonya gets a 28 or 29. IF that occurs, then Tonya would need 17.4k more votes and 29k more votes per million votes cast to win over Josh and Adam, respectively. I would be surprised if that were to happen. I always thought she had the juice to get to the finale week, but not win. Too much baggage.

For Josh to win, he would need for Tonya not to get that 17.4k more votes and he would need to get 11.6k more votes per million votes cast to win over Adam.

For Adam to win, he just needs for those two dancers to not cover the spread.

If it comes out a three way tie, I think it’s between Josh and Adam and I’m leaning Josh. For that matter, if it’s a two way tie between Adam and Josh – same thing. 🙂

Okay, show time.

What the heck is going on on that stage?? Adam and Jenna are the only ones remotely happy to be there, from all appearances.

Tonya first with V. Waltz.

I saw a little bobble at the beginning of the dance and a possible issue with an underarm pass, but damn she is definitely a ballroom girl. That said, she did fine with latin too, so. I think that color looks good on her.

Len and Bruno are loving it. CAI says she seemed nervous, which I think is a tiny bit of BS.

Nailed that score – she gets a 26 as predicted. Josh is going second – as DWTS often does, I think they are dancing in their reverse order of finish.

So Josh and Tonya get a slower ballroom dance (one favors it, the other – hard to say)…and Adam gets Jazz. Okay.

Josh and Sharna doing a beautiful job…until Sharna steps on her dress and totally lets it show on her face. Girl!!

Judges seem to love it, calling him elegant – although CAI and Len both call out a minor error. That makes it easy to give him all 9s. We’ll see after the commercials.

Josh gets a 27 – I was off by a point.

I have to admit, the Jenna and Adam screaming at each other on the first meeting was what got me. And her choreography has been STELLAR.

This dance is really cute and their sync work seems as stellar as usual. Not sure how CAI is going to feel about lip syncing. Nastia ought to beat her over the head if she doesn’t pick on it. 🙂

Is this dance the closest to actual jazz they’ve had on this show since Derek left?? I think so. Judges seem to love it. Sync not as perfect as in the past, but pretty damn close.

As anticipated, Adam gets a 30. I’m just that damn good. Only off by one point over three dances. 😉

Tonya’s freestyle package is a bit teary. Ohhh…good song….

Holy crap. That was a Derek Hough-style freestyle!! Good job Sasha!! So athletic and so HARD! Damn, color me impressed!! She trailed the music just a teeny tiny bit in a one or two spots cuz it was so damn fast, but she’s not a spring chicken any more!!

Judges are raving…Oh sit down, CAI. 🙂 I predicted a 28 or 29, but I suspect she gets a perfect score. And she does. Not sure this changes anything other than narrowing the margins a bit.


Or a lot. Tonya needs less that 6k votes to overtake Josh and get second place. To win she would have to get that 6k AND get 23k more votes per million votes cast than Adam. I don’t see that happening, but it’s possible she could move into second place. This is assuming that Josh and Adam both get perfect scores on the freestyle.

For Josh to win, he would need for Tonya to NOT get that 6k votes and he would need 17.4k more votes per million votes cast to get past Adam and win. I don’t see that happening, but I could be wrong. I think right now it’s a battle for second place.

Okay, that was a good freestyle, and danced perfectly, but it seemed that the troupe and Sharna were the ones doing all the dancing. I really like Josh, but I think he gets let down a bit by Sharna’s lack of cross training. Certainly not bad, but it might suffer from going in between Tonya and Adam.

Judges love it – Bruno’s comment “You’re wet.” was probably the best one all night. He gets a perfect score, cuz that’s what we’re doing tonight.

Oh boy, Adam’s hair for his freestyle might be it. Anna Trebunskaya sighting in the audience!!

Holy crap part 2! That’s what cross training does for you – that’s the most unique freestyle we’ve seen in a very long time. That was very cool. I was mesmerized.

And the judges are going to crap all over it. I feel like this dance might have been too SYTYCD for them. The out of sync comment from CAI was bullshit – that’s all she could think of to say, she couldn’t say she didn’t get it. That could change things.


The freestyle round might have cost Adam and Jenna, but maybe not. We’ll see. Josh now only needs about 6k more votes per million votes cast than Adam and he needs for Tonya to not get the 6k more votes per million votes to get past HIM. If neither Josh (6k votes per million) and Tonya (11.7k votes per million) can cover the spread, Adam wins. Not coincidentally, those numbers are what Tonya needs to win.

I still think Adam pulls it out, but the last minute voting combined with her traditional, high energy freestyle could pull it out for Tonya. Unfortunately, Adam and Jenna made the margins very tiny. I’m not longer certain who wins, although I’m still leaning Adam.

And we’re already at the end.

The WINNER IS….Adam and Jenna!!!!

I Written By

I'm a nerd and proud of it. Two degrees in geology also means I love BEER. :-) I'm also a Derek lover - proud of that too. So don't scream at those of us on this site and call us a bunch of "biased Derek-lovers" - it's just ME. :-) It may sound like I hate DWTS at times, but really, I'm just a snarky nitpicker from way back. And I'm cynical and jaded too. But I do love DWTS. :-)

Dancing With The Stars Season 26 Pre-Finale Interviews

Just some pre-finale interviews to share including one with Carrie Ann Inaba with a personal molestation story to share. Also, a fun extra on Cheryl Burke and her wedding ring.

May 18, 2018 I Written By

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul" ~ Martha Graham. That's what DWTS makes me think of every Monday night. To read more about me and my other interests, see Lisa Kay Photography. You can also follow me at Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud.

Tom Bergeron Doesn’t Think There Will Be A Four Week Season Of DWTS Again

Yesterday, Tom Bergeron answered some questions from fans at his twitter account. In one of them, he tweeted on how he doesn’t think there will ever be a short season of Dancing With The Stars again (thank goodness!!). He also defended the show and why they did it. Read below. For more, see Tom’s twitter account.

May 17, 2018 I Written By

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul" ~ Martha Graham. That's what DWTS makes me think of every Monday night. To read more about me and my other interests, see Lisa Kay Photography. You can also follow me at Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud.

Dancing With The Stars Season 26 Finale Dance Information And More

Below is the dance information for the finals of Dancing With The Stars Season 26. Note that we just have a one night show this time. From Disney ABC:


Each Couple Will Perform Two Dances

All 10 Athletes Set to Reunite and Perform One Last Dance Together

The Winner Will Be Determined Based on ‘Last Chance’ Live Viewer Votes
and the Judges’ Scores, Along with Last Week’s Viewer Votes

After three weeks of stunning competitive dancing, the final three couples advance to the finals of “Dancing with the Stars: Athletes,” live on MONDAY, MAY 21 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network, streaming and on demand. It’s been a very close race this season, and each and every couple has stepped up to the plate and given their all on the ballroom floor.

All 10 of the athletes are set to reunite for a spectacular dance number. As for the three finalist couples, each will perform two dances. The first round will be inspired by their journey on the show, and each couple will perform a jazz, foxtrot or Viennese waltz routine. The second round will be a no-holds-barred freestyle dance. At the end of the night, based on “last chance” live viewer votes in the EDT/CDT time zones via and Facebook, as well as the judges’ scores and last week’s viewer votes, one couple will be crowned the champion, culminating an incredible season, and take home the special Athletes Mirrorball trophy.

Each couple will dance to the following songs (in alphabetical order):

Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson – Jazz – “Anything You Can Do” from “Annie Get Your Gun” – The new Broadway cast recording

Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess – Foxtrot – “Conqueror” by “Empire” cast, featuring Estelle and Jussie Smollett

Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber – Viennese Waltz – “The Time of My Life” by David Cook

Each couple will dance freestyle to the following songs (in alphabetical order):

Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson – “Scooby Doo Pa Pa” by DJ Kass

Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess – “Walk on Water” by Thirty Seconds to Mars

Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber – “I Will Survive” by The Pussycat Dolls

Hosted by two-time Emmy®-winning host Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews, “Dancing with the Stars: Athletes” is the hit series in which athletes perform choreographed dance routines that are judged by a panel of renowned ballroom experts, including head judge, Len Goodman, and dancers/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

In week four, which airs at 8:00 p.m. EDT/7:00 p.m. CDT on Monday, May 21, this season’s champion will be determined based on that night’s judges’ scores and last week’s viewer votes, along with the results of a “last chance” vote during the live broadcast of the finale. Fans can vote online during the live broadcast in the Eastern and Central time zones at at and on Facebook at This “last chance” vote will open after all three couples have finished their final dance and will remain open for a few minutes before the champion is crowned.

I Written By

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul" ~ Martha Graham. That's what DWTS makes me think of every Monday night. To read more about me and my other interests, see Lisa Kay Photography. You can also follow me at Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud.