Dancing with the Stars

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Dancing with the Stars TV Poster Image
Popular with kids
High-kicking series has cross-generational appeal.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 31 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 44 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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 & Representations

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKatherine27 October 2, 2020

Don’t enjoy without Tom

I can’t even watch it any more. Tyra Banks ruined the show! Tom is great and he was a big reason I loved the show. ABC made a huge mistake! Bring back Tom!
Adult Written bymary1243 September 28, 2020


not at all what it used to be. Very hard to watch with Tyra Banks as a host and really makes me want to not watch it anymore. It has really changed and not for... Continue reading
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
Kid, 11 years old November 1, 2020


I loved the dancing on this show, and I think it's even better than "So You Think You Can Dance," which is also really good. It has catchy songs,... Continue reading

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?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dancing

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