Are you a fan of Dancing with the Stars? Since 2005, this ballroom dancing reality show has captivated audiences throughout the country. As dance instructors, we love watching the journey contestants go through in preparation for their big performances. Even in its 25th season, the show displays no signs of stopping. Let’s learn some interesting facts behind the production:

Based On a British TV Show

Before the inception of DWTS in the US, England debuted a reality dance TV show, Strictly Come Dancing in 2004. This show is so popular that 40 other countries are said to tune into the show. A modern dance version of the show, Strictly Dance Fever, also evolved from the production.

More Popular Than Anticipated

Here in the States, nobody anticipated how massively popular DWTS would become. Although the producers were confident that the show would be entertaining, they had no idea if the public would take to it or if it would get canceled. Even today, the series displays no signs of slowing down.

The Contestants Make Big Bucks

Many celebrities hope to compete on the show in an effort to boost their career status, but that certainly isn’t the only perk. Supposedly, even if you are voted off during the first show, you are paid $125,000 for your appearance. The longer you last on the show, the more you are paid. With such a hefty financial offer, even celebrities with two left feet jump at the chance to compete.

Kate Gosselin Makes Waves

No fan favorite in general, reality TV mom Kate Gosselin created quite a ruckus when she competed with instructor Tony Dovolani on the show. Insiders report that Gosselin sent out emails to everyone she knew asking them to vote for her ten times and send out emails to another ten friends and ask them to vote ten times as well. This didn’t go over well with fans.

All the emails in the world couldn’t help this notorious control freak win enough votes to win. She refused to take direction from her instructor who joked that he needed therapy after working with her. With her abrasive personality and her abysmal dance skills, Gosselin didn’t last too long, much to Dovolani’s relief.

Contestant Run-Ins With Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Gosselin isn’t the only one stirring up drama on the show, and no reality show is complete without diva-like antics. Handsome and charming, instructor Maksim Chmerkovskiy has clashed with dance partners and judges alike. Pro soccer player Hope Solo accused him of being nasty and physically aggressive during practice, which he has denied.

However, he doesn’t deny his dislike of Solo and he’s butted heads with judges when he’s felt unhappy with their decisions. Quite the Casanova, Chmerkovskiy has been romantically linked to a variety of contestants and instructors and is currently married to instructor Petra Murgatroyd.

Bindi Irwin

Daughter of the late Crocodile Hunter host, Steve Irwin, Bindi Irwin jumped through several legal hoops to compete on the show. At the time, Irwin was only 17 years old and considered a minor, which meant that both her parents had to sign off the on her contract. Originally, the court rejected her contract because her father, who died years before, did not sign it. Irwin had to prove to the courts that her father passed away in 2006 before they would let her compete.


Many times, contestants push themselves so hard in their rehearsals that they injure themselves. Seasoned Jackass actor Steve-O injured his back, and Bill Nye the Science Guy injured his quads. Retired beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor even tore her Achilles tendon when she competed in the show.  

The Carlton

If you were fortunate enough to watch The Fresh Prince of Bel Air in the nineties, you most likely remember “The Carlton” dance. Taking dorkiness to the next level, this dance characterized preppy Carlton Banks and his lack of dance skills. Amazingly enough, actor Alfonso Ribeiro recreated his Carlton dance when he competed in the show’s 19th season with partner Witney Carson. Watched by millions of viewers, the dance was a hit.

You don’t have to be a celebrity to learn how to dance in our ballroom dance studio. Not only will you have a blast taking our adult dance classes in Woodbridge, you’ll burn calories, too. Whether you are looking to burn calories or pick up some sweet dance moves, contact The Modern Ballroom Dance Studio in Woodbridge today.