Why I Hate Dancing with the Stars

I love to watch Dancing with the Stars.  But as an instructor who teaches people to dance, I hate the misconceptions it spreads about dancing.  Sure it’s fantastic entertainment.  It’s got ups and downs and flash and drama.  But it also has:

The Outfits

I could just rest my case here.  Sure you ladies love it, but can you imagine a couple sitting on the couch watching the show, and the girl says, “Honey I want to dance with you, let’s take some lessons,” and these images flash through the poor guy’s head??  She’s gonna have to tie him up before she can bring him in!  There should be a disclaimer under every frame of video that shows one of these outrageous outfits!


The Practice:

You know you don’t actually have to hurt yourself, sprain things, or fall on your head to learn to dance, right?

They also make it seem like you can learn to dance in no time flat.  We can teach you to dance quickly, but they give the impression that you can be a professional-level dancer in a week!  If any of you have the ability to schedule a 6 hour long dance lesson daily for 2 weeks, I can teach you to dance real fast.  These stars don’t have regular jobs and can spend hours each day practicing.  That’s the life, huh?


The Dances:

Real partner dancing is relaxed and easy.  For their performance these dancers are going full-on all-out guns-a-blazin’ dance mode.  Using all their energy, pouring sweat, and forget about talking to your partner, THERE’S NO TIME FOR THAT WE’VE GOT TO HIT THE NEXT POSE!  It’s a show!

These “stars” can’t really dance, not by my standard anyway.  They can do one routine to a single piece of music, and that’s about it!  If you teach someone to play “Chopsticks” it doesn’t mean they can play piano!  It means they can play “Chopsticks!”  It’s like someone learning to sing a song in another language, but they don’t know what the words mean, they’re just mimicking the sounds.  That’s fine for a single performance like a Wedding Dance, but if you go out to a dance club, you’ll be sitting out!

When you learn to dance it’s important to be able to dance with people you’ve never met, not just your instructor.  I realize the point of the show is just to have a cool dance performance, and that’s great.  But when you know how to dance – really dance – well, there’s nothing like it!

The Judging:

Now thanks to this show, people are carry around the mental imagery of judges holding up numbers, grading what they do.  Ugh.

In real life if you mess up, you don’t get judged and kicked off a show, you just smile and keep going.  There’s no penalty, no permanent record that will haunt you.  You’ve got your whole life to improve this fantastic skill of dance!


Despite the humorous title I really do like Dancing with the Stars.  Just keep in mind when you watch it, it’s for entertainment, and not social dancing.  After all, you don’t have to be a athlete or a star to dance, you just have to like to have fun!


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