Dancing With the Stars first appeared on televisions across America in 2005, but Len Goodman’s career started long before DWTS was a twinkle in an ABC producer’s eye. Thanks to the hard work Len put in on stage and off stage, the dancer has amassed a huge net worth. See how much the professional ballroom dancer makes — and how he makes it — below!
Len’s fortune is estimated to be a whopping $18 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, but he wasn’t always planning to become a professional dancer. The Dancing With the Stars judge was an apprentice welder and only started dancing when he was 19 when a doctor recommended it following a foot injury.
“I had an old Scottish doctor who told me to go ballroom dancing. He said it was very good for your feet because you’re going up and down a lot. My girlfriend arranged for it all to happen,” Len told The Guardian in 2006. “I really didn’t want to go, I kicked up a right fuss. But once I’d been for a couple of weeks, I really loved it. I realized I had a bit of a talent for it.”
From there, his professional career began; Len won various competitions and ultimately retired in his late 20s.
Now, Len mainly makes money by serving as the head judge on DWTS, where it is rumored he makes $1.2 million per season. He has missed only two seasons of the show, one being season 29, which he was unable to attend, as he was in the U.K. and unable to travel due to strict COVID-19 travel restrictions. He also judged the British version of the show, Strictly Come Dancing, from its inception in 2004 until 2016.
On top of his career judging talented celebrities (or celebrities with two left feet), Len also owns Len Goodman’s Dance School, one of the longest-running dance schools in Kent, England. Classes per person, per class, run from $8.25 (£6.00) to $13.74 (£10.00), so it is likely he doesn’t make a large sum of money from the school.
All in all, not bad for a kid who just had an injured foot!