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Shawn Johnson Dancing For Cash on DWTS

Shawn Machel Johnson (born January 19, 1992) is an American artistic gymnast who was born in Des Moines, Iowa to Doug and Teri Johnson.

She was the 2008 Olympic woman's balance beam gold medalist, the individual all-around silver medalist, the 2007 all-around World Champion, and the 2007 and 2008 U.S. all-around champion.

(Image L-R of Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas - Dancing With The Stars - ABC.com - All Rights Reserved - 2009).

Shawn's parents enrolled her in a gymnastics class at age three after they noticed her climbing up cabinets and jumping down from tables. At the age of six, she was among the first students when Liang Chow opened a gymnastics school in West Des Moines.

Shawn attends Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, entering the 2008-09 school year as a junior.

Unlike most elite gymnasts who train approximately 40 hours a week and have private tutors, Johnson trains 20-25 hours a week and attends a public high school where she is currently on the A Honor Roll and takes part in numerous extra-curricular activities.

Recently Shawn took a break from the balance beam in order to compete on the current season of Dancing With The Stars (DWTS).  She partnered with season 6 winner professional dancer Mark Ballas. She is the youngest competitor in the history of the reality TV show.

Why would a world class athlete jump to a Reality TV show?  Probably because of the money.  Yes, it also provides Shawn with exposure to a much larger audience of potential fans.  The other reason?  The cash.

With the good comes the bad.  While reports recently leaked to the media indicated Shawn was guaranteed a minimum of $125,000.00 for her DWTS participation, she also attracted the attention of an alleged stalker.

(Image L-R of Shawn Johnson - Dancing With The Stars - ABC.com - All Rights Reserved - 2009).

Robert O'Ryan, 34, who is the alleged stalker, first saw Shawn on DWTS.   He was recently arrested with the possession of guns, duct tape, zip ties, and love letters to Shawn.

Additionally, it was reported that O'Ryan left his home in Florida and travelled to California, believing that Shawn spoke to him through the television via ESP, stating that they would be together and have a child.  A restraining order has been provided to Shawn to protect her.  She also has heightened security.

A copy of Shawn's "Dancing" contract which is a public document filed with the L.A. County Superior Court was discovered by the media.  A judge had to approve the contract because she's a minor. Under the contract, Shawn gets a guarantee of $125,000 for appearing on the show. By surviving the first set of the competition's elimination, she gets an additional $10,000 a week for weeks 3 and 4.

If Shawn survives the next set of eliminations, the rate doubles to $20,000 a week for weeks 5, 6 and 7. For weeks 8 and 9 she scores $30,000 a week.  If she continues to survive the DWTS competition she will get $50,000 a week for weeks 10 and 11.  If by chance she makes it into the final 2 on the show, she will walk away with $365,000.  If she wins the competition, she will get more.

(Image L-R of Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas - Dancing With The Stars - ABC.com - All Rights Reserved - 2009).

Of course there is also the potential of post DWTS endorsements and appearances which could drive the final total up even higher.

The contract also stipulates that Shawn must train approximately 20 hours a week.  The contract also releases the show from any liability in the case of injuries.  Shawn has agreed to release the Producer and ABC from any and all claims due to any inquiry she might experience during the DWTS appearances.

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