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Dancing with the Stars
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this reality competition is a fun choice for families and has good messages for fans of any age about the rewarding process of taking on new challenges. The dancers are models for young viewers of strength, athleticism, determination, and confidence, and they accept accolade and criticism with grace. Female dancers often wear revealing outfits and men show off their chests, and many of the dance styles require the couples to show off some sex appeal. Young kids probably won’t be interested for long, but older ones who can appreciate the scope of the participants’ dedication to the process will enjoy the show.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
DANCING WITH THE STARS is a reality competition that pairs professional ballroom dancers with celebrities and challenges them to learn a new style of dancing each week. Celebrity participants have included Hollywood legends, pop stars, rappers, politicians, and professional athletes, most of whom have little to no dancing experience before the show. The dancing pro’s put them through their own boot camp of sorts in preparation for their weekly performances, which are scored by a panel of three judges before being voted on by the viewing audience. The lowest-scoring couple is eliminated each week.
Is it any good?
This is the rare show that can be enjoyed and appreciated by all generations. The dancing is always entertaining, and at times it’s also inspiring, reminding viewers of the rewards of taking the leap into new challenges in life at any age. The show celebrates the joy of fair competition, the benefits of determination, and the self-affirming nature of conquering fear.
Parents may want need to explain to kids why the female dancers wear skimpy outfits and get judged on their sex appeal, and there is some mild language ("ass," "suck," etc.) that isn’t appropriate for young kids. But mostly there’s nothing to worry about, and it may just encourage you and your family to tackle something new of your own.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the stereotypes that exist about dancers. Were the dancers in this show what you expected to see? Did any of them surprise you? What are the dangers of making assumptions about groups of people?
Kids: What does it feel like to be criticized? What is the difference between constructive criticism and negative criticism? How does hearing a critique encourage you to improve?
In what ways are the participants in this show good role models? Do they ever express that they’re afraid of any aspect of the competition? How can fear be a motivator? Does it seem to motivate their efforts?
For kids who love dancing
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.