Dancing with the Stars TV Poster Image

Dancing with the Stars



High-kicking series has cross-generational appeal.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show highlights the importance of working hard, learning new skills, taking criticism, and having the courage to try new things.

Positive role models

Most of participants are good sports and willingly accept the task of trying something out of their comfort zone and learning from the process. Some celebrity dancers, like Bristol Palin and Kate Gosselin, stir up some minor controversy thanks to their tabloid fame. One participant garnered attention for his gender transformation.


Some dancing novices take some painful spills on the floor, but aside from the occasional concussion or minor sprain, there’s no major injury.


Many of the dances require the performers to play up the sex appeal, and judges call them out for being adequately sexy or not sexy enough. Women often wear revealing costumes, and guys sometimes bear their chests.


When tension rises in practice, some dancers lapse into cursing, but it’s mostly edited for the show. Some mild expletives like "ass," "butt," and "suck" are audible.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Cast:Lisa Canning, Samantha Harris, Tom Bergeron
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old March 21, 2011

Been watching since I was EIGHT!!!

They always bleep out bad words and I don't find it an issue. And if the outfits were too skimpy, then would they really allow them on tv? I love the show and I'm watching the 2011 season premiere right now, the judges are really alive and Bruno is absolutely hilarious. Anyone who likes dancing (no matter the age) will love DWTS!!!
Teen, 14 years old Written bymambobird March 29, 2011
very good and interesting show, as a balroom dancer myself i find some of the contestants not so good, but none the less a good show
Adult Written bybasbel October 10, 2011

This show: The best!

This is the best show in a while. it is cute. I think that if you are a dancer, or you like dancing then you will like this show. I suggest this show as a family show. I hope you like my review
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing


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