Strict Rules the 'Dancing With the Stars' Contestants Have to Follow

It’s the time of the year for the dancing show with the stars to be seen on the TV screens! Since 2005, we just can’t wait to see who will be the new ones who’ll take on the sway and spin challenge. As we’re about to watch the show, let’s get to know the rules that the cast has to follow! 

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television/Adam Taylor | ABC's "Dancing With the Stars": Season 22 - Week One

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television/Adam Taylor | ABC's "Dancing With the Stars": Season 22 - Week One


NO OFFER. NO DWTS CAREER.

No. Dancing with the stars is not just a random celebrity show that anyone can sign up and then gets accepted. Celebrities just cannot be cast directly if they don’t receive the offer from the show’s casting director. Who is the director, anyway? It’s none other than Deena Katz.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Eric McCandless | ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" - Season 27 - Week Seven

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Eric McCandless | ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" - Season 27 - Week Seven

She is well-known for her work in the show since 2005, The masked Singers in 2019, and Whose Line Is It Anyway? in 2013. Nowadays, DWTS is seen in Hollywood as Willy Wonka's golden ticket according to her for it helps with the celebrities’ marketing and career. That’s why she seeks out the most interesting stars.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Emma McIntyre | Deena Katz in an interview at the women's march in Los Angeles

Image Credit: Getty Images/Emma McIntyre | Deena Katz in an interview at the women's march in Los Angeles


GET READY TO BE THE BACK-UP

Just because they are famous celebrities does not mean that when they are cast on the show, they are going to be the lead. There are instances that the stars must take the back-up role, just in case something’s going to hinder the main star dancer from performing.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Adam Larkey | John O'Hurley, Rachel Hunter Kelly Monaco and their partners 

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Adam Larkey | John O'Hurley, Rachel Hunter Kelly Monaco and their partners 

There was one time that the producers were not sure that Master P can show up on the day of the show so they had David Carradine who was starring for Kill Bill to rehearse in a trailer on set just in case what they fear to happen will actually happen.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Adam Larkey | Master P. and his partner in a post-performance interview from season 2

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Adam Larkey | Master P. and his partner in a post-performance interview from season 2


NOT A TRENDING CELEB? NO PROBLEM

Deena Katz does not care if you are a trending star at the moment, she likes to fill the show with a mix of celebrities from across the entire pop culture zeitgeist. Whether the celebs are people from the news, nostalgic casts, or their idea of dancing is laughable, they can be part of the dream DWTS cast.   

Image Credit: Getty Images/WireImage/Daniel Zuchnik |  Witney Carson and Alfonso Ribeiro perform onstage during

Image Credit: Getty Images/WireImage/Daniel Zuchnik |  Witney Carson and Alfonso Ribeiro perform onstage during


YOU’RE A FAN? CONGRATS YOU HAVE A CHANCE!

The more vocal celebrities are about their love for the show, the higher are their chance that they can get casted for the casting director looks for stars who are actually fans of the show. By picking celeb casts that love the show, the odds that the star will sign on the increase and good attitude during the show is assured.  

Image Credit: Getty Images/ABC/Frank Ockenfels | Portrait of the rapper, Nelly for season 29 of DWTS

Image Credit: Getty Images/ABC/Frank Ockenfels | Portrait of the rapper, Nelly for season 29 of DWTS


SAY YES TO THE PRESS AND OTHER TASKS

The contestants in DWTS just can’t expect that they only should show up for weekly performances. They are also obliged to attend and take part in press interviews, dress and dance rehearsals, costume fittings, camera blocking, and other tasks that are related to the show.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Craig Sjodin via Getty Images | Portrait of KATE FLANNERY & PASHA PASHKOV for DWTS

Image Credit: Getty Images/Craig Sjodin via Getty Images | Portrait of KATE FLANNERY & PASHA PASHKOV for DWTS


NO AGE LIMIT

The show has not disclosed any official age limit for the cast. One of the youngest contestants they had was Willow Shields when she was just 14. ABC has also launched a spin-off show, Dancing with the Stars: Juniors, which will have child stars and children of celebs.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Craig Sjodin | Willow Shields and her partner Mark Ballas from season 20

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Craig Sjodin | Willow Shields and her partner Mark Ballas from season 20


GIVE YOUR TIME FOR REHEARSAL

Since they signed up for it, they must give their all, right? Well, the all-out performance that can be seen on the screen each week is the result of 30-50 hours a week rehearsal. It seems like its not a problem, though, for there are stars who work overtime because they are serious about getting the Mirrorball Trophy.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Eric McCandless | Dancing with the Stars season 28 premier

Image Credit: Getty Images/Eric McCandless | Dancing with the Stars season 28 premier


THE PRODUCERS WILL PICK THE PARTNERS

The stars will have no say on who will be the professional dancer that will become their partner and the same goes with the dancers. "There are some celebs that have wishes, and we always say we can't guarantee," Katz told Glamour. The producers always have the final say.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Frazer Harrison | Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough in ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" Live Finale

Image Credit: Getty Images/Frazer Harrison | Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough in ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" Live Finale

It’s somehow good because the producers match the stars and the dancer strategically. They have their own basis to make the partners look perfect together. Do you want to know how they are paired? Well, according to Showrunner Rob Wade, it is just a simple formula, "based on height, builds and personality and compatibility."

Image Credit: Getty Images/WireImage/Jeffrey Mayer | DWTS producer Rob Wade

Image Credit: Getty Images/WireImage/Jeffrey Mayer | DWTS producer Rob Wade


NO FORMAL BALLROOM DANCE TRAINING

Since the whole purpose of the show is to try and train stars to become the best ballroom dancers that they can be, no formal ballroom dance training is allowed. They must exert effort in working with the show’s producers and rehearsing with their partners to reach the end and win the trophy.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Adam Taylor | Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess performing on DWTS

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Adam Taylor | Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess performing on DWTS


LIKING YOUR PARTNER IS A MUST

"We don't pair people who aren't going to get on. It's too intense. It's not like The Bachelor or something, we couldn't do that," Wade said in his interview with E-News. He added that "You don't want to see two people who don't like each other."

Image Credit: Getty Images/Kelsey McNeal via Getty Images | Kel Mitchel and Witney Carson in the season 28 finale

Image Credit: Getty Images/Kelsey McNeal via Getty Images | Kel Mitchel and Witney Carson in the season 28 finale

No matter what happens, the partners will be working together for so many weeks, if they are good enough to not be eliminated, and it would be a big factor if they are in good terms. It will affect their performance and stage presence if they are awkward, don’t you think so?

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Eric McCandless | Emma Slater and Rick Perry from season 23

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Eric McCandless | Emma Slater and Rick Perry from season 23


ROMANCE ON THE DANCE FLOOR?

Who wouldn’t like to see a romance blooming on a show? We just can’t deny that it adds more to the excitement and fun. Producers of DWTS just love it when there are dancing partners who are labeled by the press to be lovey-dovey because they help make the show even more famous.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Craig Sjodin | RUMER WILLIS AND VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Craig Sjodin | RUMER WILLIS AND VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY

Here’s another thing. Producers can have control over the storylines and though Wade insists that they are only following storylines that emerge from the contestants, they keep a close eye on each team and build their products on any potential drama. Of course, the romance is surely monitored and is encouraged to generate buzz for the show.

Image Credit: Getty Images/David Livingston |  Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten who admitted their feelings for each other on screen in season 27

Image Credit: Getty Images/David Livingston |  Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten who admitted their feelings for each other on screen in season 27


INJURIES WILL LEAD TO DROPPING OUT

In this kind of show, injuries and accidents may inevitably happen. Few injuries have happened on the span of the show’s 28 seasons and sometimes some contestants are just cleared to dance but there are also times that the injury will be too serious that they will be forced to drop out of the competition.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Getty Images for Caruso Affiliated/Angela Weiss | At ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" Season Finale in 2015

Image Credit: Getty Images/Getty Images for Caruso Affiliated/Angela Weiss | At ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" Season Finale in 2015


REPLACEMENTS ARE WELCOME

If a star is injured, there are also instances that replacements for them will be welcome. Fans will remember the moment when Christie Brinkley broke her wrist and she needed surgery so her daughter, Sailor Cook-Brinkley subbed in for her.

Image Credit: Getty Images/ABC via Getty Images/Richard Harbaugh | Sailor Cook-Brinkley and her partner from season 28 week five

Image Credit: Getty Images/ABC via Getty Images/Richard Harbaugh | Sailor Cook-Brinkley and her partner from season 28 week five


CAMERA SHYNESS WILL LEAD TO NOWHERE

Just as how they are obliged to talk to the press, they are also encouraged to share on camera. The producers told Glamour that there's a lot that doesn't make it onto TV, but the stars opening up to viewers is one of the key parts of the show. "You have to open yourself up to the process.”

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Adam Taylor | Kimberleigh Marie Zolciak-Biermann and Tony Dovolani

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Adam Taylor | Kimberleigh Marie Zolciak-Biermann and Tony Dovolani


NO ESCAPING THE AFTER-PERFORMANCE INTERVIEWS

Another thing that the cast of DWTS can’t say no to is the interview that comes after their performance. While this may be a good distraction for the stars as the will be anxious for their scores, it’s also necessary for the show to get their reactions on their performance as soon as they step off of the dance floor.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Eric McCandless | TOM BERGERON, KATE FLANNERY, PASHA PASHKOV in a post-performance interview

Image Credit: Getty Images/Eric McCandless | TOM BERGERON, KATE FLANNERY, PASHA PASHKOV in a post-performance interview


STRICTLY NO LIFTING!

While most of us will think that this is for safety purposes, this rule is actually made for fairness on the dance floor so that the young and old can compete without the advantage of the youth’s energy and strong bones getting in the way.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Eric McCandless | James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater

Image Credit: Getty Images/Eric McCandless | James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater

One of the show’s judges, Carrie Ann Inaba, declares that she supports the ban "which was to keep the playing field level for the older and less physically strong contestants so that all the dances didn't just become show dances with lifts and tricks," she wrote in an essay for FEMESTELLA in 2013.

Image Credit: Gett Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Adam Taylor | The judges and hosts of DWTS

Image Credit: Gett Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Adam Taylor | The judges and hosts of DWTS


LEAVE YOUR LOOKS TO THE SHOW’S OFFICIAL DESIGNERS

The contestants must give up their creative control and they should just trust the show’s costume designers as they tailor-make the clothes to perfectly fit the body of the dancers. Even if the casts are not fans of glitter and rhinestones that are attached to their clothes, they have no choice but to wear them.

Image Source: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Adam Taylor | Scenes from DWTS season 21 week six

Image Source: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Adam Taylor | Scenes from DWTS season 21 week six

They can’t even have the right to request a double-sided tape for their costumes to ensure that they won’t be undergoing a wardrobe malfunction while dancing. This is not allowed for the reason that their make-up and the layer of tans in their body will be removed by the double-sided tapes.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Kelsey McNeal | Laurie Hernandez and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, winners of DWTS season 23

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Kelsey McNeal | Laurie Hernandez and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, winners of DWTS season 23


THE BEAUTY TEAM’S VOICE SHOULD BE FOLLOWED

If they can’t have a say on their costumes, the same goes for their looks and that includes their hair and make-up. The contestants should undergo extensive preliminary beauty preparations to make sure that everything is perfect. They must even be spray tanned so that they’ll look so sun-kissed all the time.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Adam Taylor | Allison Holker and Andry Grammer performing together in season 21 week six

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Adam Taylor | Allison Holker and Andry Grammer performing together in season 21 week six

Even in their hairstyles, they must give it all to their hairstylist and they must not complain when their stylists use whatever they can in order to keep the hair in place. They can use anything from dental rubber bands to non-slip hairpins, and even eyelash glue.

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Craig Sjodin | Portrait of Derek Hough for DWTS

Image Credit: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images/Craig Sjodin | Portrait of Derek Hough for DWTS


THE BAGS SHOULD BE PACKED EVERY ELIMINATION NIGHT

No one knows who will go home on the next elimination so every couple is instructed to have an overnight bag packed so that if ever they are the unfortunate ones that will be sent home, they may fly directly to New York to conduct an exit interview on Good Morning America.

Image Credit: Getty Images/ABC via Getty Images/Eric McCandless | The Judges of Dancing with the Stars showing off their scores.

Image Credit: Getty Images/ABC via Getty Images/Eric McCandless | The Judges of Dancing with the Stars showing off their scores.

Wow, who knew so many rules went into this show! The beautiful glowing tans and the perfect performances of every cast is the result of their hard work behind the scenes. Now that we know the rules that they have to follow, we just can’t look at the show the same way again and it seems that we’ll appreciate the efforts of the contestants more, won’t you?

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