The professional dancers on Dancing With the Stars give up their lives for the show, working up to 10 weeks of air time, plus about a month of pre-season rehearsals. (And let’s not forget that some of them are working two seasons a year.)
So, how much do the pros get paid? Well, until one of them comes forward and says “Here’s what I made this season from the show” it’s going to be all speculation. And there’s a good chance veteran pros like Derek Hough, Cheryl Burke, and Maksim Chmerkovskiy make a lot more than the newbies.
The celebs reportedly make upwards of $200,000 per season, even if they are eliminated first, with bonuses if they make the finals. Back in 2009, The Ballroom Dance Company wrote about the pros’ salaries. “The professional dancers salary has reportedly gone up from $1,000 per week to $5,000 per week. They are still required to fully cater their schedule to the ‘stars’ training needs during the run of the program.” But according to some other reports, including one on Blurtit that notes “all data per DWTS site and one of the professional dancers (2009-2010),” the dancing pros get paid $5,200 per episode.
Since we’re almost halfway through 2013, that number is very outdated — especially since even the New York Times is writing about how the pros have become the news stars of DWTS.
And did “per episode” include the Results Show as well as the Performance Show? And if so, does that mean the pros' salaries are now downsized thanks to the show being cut back to one night a week? Not according to Karina Smirnoff, who says that the pros get paid "by the week."
If we had to throw down a general guestimation, we’d say the average pro salary is close to $100,000 for the full season and practice time. That’s just a guess and it’s probably too low for the A-list pros … but then it again it might be too high. And that’s not even factoring in bonuses and money earned outside the DWTS ballroom.
Sources: The Ballroom Dance Company, Blurtit