Free DWTS Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on Dancing with the Stars sent straight to your email? Join hundreds of other DWTS fans who subscribe to Pure DWTS for FREE!

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. Follow me (and my dog!) on Twitter & Instagram: @putuincespence & @BirkinTheBulldog

Dancing With The Stars Cheryl Burke Is Engaged!!

Aww this news just makes me so happy. Watch below or got to EW to read this wonderful news on Cheryl Burke.

May 4, 2018 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Our Condolences To Dancing With The Stars Cheryl Burke!

Our hearts and condolences go out to Dancing With The Stars Cheryl Burke. Recently she took a break from twitter. It’s no wonder as she lost her Dad. Sad. I so know how she feels as many of you do too. You can read more at ET.

A post shared by Cheryl Burke (@cherylburke) on

March 20, 2018 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Dancing with the Stars, The All Athletes Season – PRO WATCH!!!

It’s time! Time to come back from your vacation and start chatting DWTS once again. 🙂 So, how ya’ll been? 🙂 I’ve been on something of a vacation from DWTS and even from Derek. But now it’s time to start winding back up again for our abbreviated, all athletes season.

What do we know about the pros right at this minute? Well, Maks, Val and Peta are out for the season due to their tour – likely planned before this season became a thing. Derek is on another network and a different dance show. Mark kinda sounded out – but you never know. Julianne is out as a judge as she’s working on her and Derek’s scripted show “Blackpool”, among other things. Have I left anything out? I think that’s all I’m aware of right at this moment. OH! Kym is also out due to the impending arrival of her twins.

So, what have you heard? Be sure to provide a source if you have something to share….

ETA: It’s a GO for Gleb Savchenko as a Pro for this season. Yayy!! Please read more details HERE. ~Vogue

ETA2: Per the DancingABC Instagram, these are the pros this season – fairly predictable lineup, identical to my hypothetical list on Twitter last week. -Court-

Male Pros
Val – OUT
Gleb – IN
Mark – Out
Artem – IN
Derek – OUT
Sasha – IN
Maks – OUT
Keo – IN
Alan – IN

Female Pros
Sharna – IN
Kym – OUT
Emma – IN
Witney – IN
Lindsay – IN
Jenna – IN
Cheryl – OUT
Peta – OUT

I’m assuming there will be a Troupe???

ETA: According to this Kristyn Burtt interview with Britt Stewart, there will be a troupe for this season. Thanks Kristyn. ~Vogue

The Troupe
Courtesy Hayley Erbert

March 12, 2018 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 25 End Of The Season Questionnaire (Grade Season, Favorite Dances, And More)

As promised, below is a new “End of the season” Questionnaire for Dancing With The Stars Season 25. This is when you can tell your most honest thoughts and feelings for how you feel on the show (good and bad). Answer the questions below in comments to your best ability.

1. Which couple should win the Best Costume Award for Dancing With The Stars Season 25?

2. From all the celebrity contestants on Dancing With The Stars 25, who should win a Congeniality Award?

3. From the couples dances, which were your most favorite THREE dances on Dancing With The Stars Season 25? You can name more if you can’t stop at three.

4. If you were to give a “Choreograph Award” to THREE pros on Dancing With The Stars Season 23, who would they be?

5. My Favorite Pro Dance was __________________________________.

6. From an “A” to an “F”, how would you grade the season?

7. Are you satisfied with the direction of the show? If not, how can ‘the powers that be’ improve Dancing With The Stars in the future? What would you like to see more of less of, etc?

Thanks, Everyone! See you in comments!

November 24, 2017 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Dancing With The Stars Season 25 Finale – HQ Photos

Don’t these photos from Getty say it all? Be sure to click on the photos to see more from both nights….

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Read more..

November 22, 2017 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

‘DWTS All Sports Edition’ Coming, Night Two Press Interviews, And More

Below are press interviews and recaps after Night two of the Dancing With The Stars finale. Lots of new tour talk and note the mention from ABC7 on the Dancing With The Stars “All Sports Edition” coming in the Spring. Too fun…

ETA: From TV Line on the DWTS Sports Edition. Is it possible these sports champions are dancing in it? This would be so cool. Be sure to read the link for more.

The 10 athletes set to compete in this spring’s cycle will be revealed at a later date.

It’s no surprise that DWTS would test the waters with a season consisting of all sportsmen and women. In its 25-season history, 10 of its champions have come from the world of sports, including former football players Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward, Donald Driver and Rashad Jennings, Olympic gold medalists Apolo Anton Ohno, Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Meryl Davis and Laurie Hernandez, and race car driver Hélio Castroneves.

On The Red Carpet:

ABC7:

Read more..

I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.

Dancing with the Stars Season 25, THE FINAL FINALE (Night 2) – LIVE BLOG

Well, it’s the finale. Time to sit through 2 hours of crap to find out who wins the shiny Mirror Ball trophy. Good luck to all the contestants.

One note – the person dancing last on Night 2 of the finale has won the MBT SEVEN of the last ten seasons.  I’m hoping the comments won’t become an ugly place tonight. None of these contestants deserve that.

Love the opening bit with Len. He’s so funny…and did I see a bit of swag.

Robert!! Yum. But producers…this show is NOT about Val and Maks, so spare me please.

Lindsey being a pep talker in the BTS footage. Frankie too, it appears.

Hey!! I want a sleigh!! How come Tom gets a sleigh?? Read more..

November 21, 2017 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 25, Week NINE – LIVE BLOG

Welp. This should be interesting. Or not. 😉

So we change one element of a challenge and call it “all new”??

I like the videos playing behind the couples. Except victoria’s. What the heck was that? Is she jesus now?

A song that best describes your partner? Okay. Love the Proclaimers, in any case.

Emma is so sweet. Love her.

Drew has flashed us at least twice. I’m okay with this. Cute opening – rewind to watch Keo’s reaction.  🙂  Love the Troupe guys coming in with their kilts. Read more..

November 13, 2017 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. :-)

PureDWTS Season 25 Week 8 Interviews – Part 2

Below are more interviews after Dancing With The Stars this week. If you missed part one, see this previous post.

And all of these…. Read more..

November 8, 2017 I Written By

Just a music and dancing fan here ....and a lover of life, nature, animals, and spending as much time as possible camping in our travel trailer. Favorite Quote at the moment: "Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth." ~ William Purkey. Follow me at: Voguerista Twitter & Voguerista Soundcloud. To view my photography site, see Lisa Kay Photography.