Bruno Tonioli has mastered all the moves. The fiery Italian is a choreographer, ballroom and Latin dancer, and TV personality. He lights the stage on fire with his performances. He has always been a dancer and has pursued the art form in more than one way. Through his tenacity and passion for dancing, Bruno has been able to leave a mark in the hearts of viewers around the world. Today, he is best known for his role as a judge on the hit shows Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing with the Stars, and Britain’s Got Talent, where he dazzles the audience with his flamboyant and expressive style. He is also a respected and experienced professional in the entertainment industry, having worked with some of the most famous artists and performers in the world. He is a champion of diversity and inclusion, having supported the first same-sex routine and being openly gay himself. He is a charismatic and humorous person, who loves to make people laugh and enjoy themselves. He is Bruno Tonioli, and this is his story.
Duke and the Aces
Date of birth
25 November 1955
Place of birth
Italian and British
Television personality, choreographer and dancer
$10 million (estimated)
Jason Schanne (2010–present)
Werther Tonioli, Fulvia Tonioli
Italian, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish
Duke and the Aces
I’m Still Standing by Elton John, Election Day by Arcadia, among others
Absolute Beginners, What a Girl Wants, Absolutely Fabulous, among others
Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing with the Stars, DanceX, Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann, Britain’s Got Talent, among others
Godspell, Forbidden Passion, among others
Bruno Tonioli at the Opera on BBC Radio 2
Bruno: My Story (2012)
Golden Buzzer acts on BGT
Ghetto Kids and Gamal John
Currently judge of
Dancing with the Stars and Britain’s Got Talent
Strictly Come Dancing replacement
Anton Du Beke (2022–present)
Leaving Strictly Come Dancing, Receiving complaints for supporting same-sex dancing, Worse commented on one of the contender, Pressing the Golden Buzzer twice on Britain’s Got Talent
Bruno Tonioli was born on the 25th of November 1955 in Ferrara, Italy. Bruno spent much of his early life in Italy alongside his parents Werther and Fulvia. The man had humble beginnings as his father worked as a bus driver while his mother was an upholsterer and made covers for car seats.
As a young boy, Bruno loved dancing and started taking lessons from the age of 5. His parents were supportive of Bruno and wanted to see their son succeed in dancing. It was this support that enabled Bruno to leave his education after high school and focus on dancing. Growing up, Bruno was bullied due to his sexuality and as a result, he avoids talking about his love life.
Bruno spent much of his life growing up in Paris, France. It was also where he officially started his career as a dancer. In 1981, Bruno joined the La Grande Eugene dancing group which operated in Paris. After learning more about his craft, Bruno moved to the UK and joined the Lindsay Kemp Company. It was during this time that Bruno started hosting dancing classes.
Alongside his dancing career, Bruno also worked as a choreographer. Throughout the years, Bruno has created music videos for some of the most renowned names in the music industry. He has worked with Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones, Freddie Mercury, Boy George, and Bananarama music group.
With his work out in the world, Bruno started receiving offers from movies and TV series. He worked as a choreographer for movies such as The Gathering Storm, The Body in the Library, Blonde Bombshell, and The Bare Necessities. Bruno has also worked as a theater choreographer and worked with plays like Godspell and Forbidden Passion.
In 2004, he was chosen to be a judge on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, along with Craig Revel Horwood, Arlene Phillips, and Len Goodman. He became known for his flamboyant and enthusiastic comments and critiques of the celebrity dancers. In 2005, he also joined the judging panel of the American version of the show, Dancing with the Stars. He has been a judge on both shows ever since, except for two weeks when he was replaced by Alfonso Ribeiro due to scheduling conflicts. However, even though Bruno seemed to be taking a step back from his busy career, he presented a radio series entitled Bruno Tonioli at the Opera in November of 2018. After that, he made a surprising decision to leave Strictly Come Dancing for good in 2022, after being a judge on the show for 18 years. He is now appearing as a new judge on Britain’s Got Talent in 2023.
As of 2024, Bruno’s net worth is estimated to be around USD 10 million. His main sources of income are his salaries from judging the popular dance shows Dancing with the Stars and Britain’s Got Talent. He also earns money from his choreography work for various artists, films, and stage shows, as well as from his book sales and radio show.
Bruno Tonioli identifies as gay and is open about it. According to the interview with The Mirror he revealed that he was in a relationship with a guy named Paul for a couple of decades now. He is currently dating Jason Schanne. The pair met on the set of Dancing with the Stars during 2000 and have been together ever since. At the end of fourteenth season of Dance with the Stars Bruno Tonioli celebrated commitment ceremony with his soulmate Jason Schanne in the presence of stars like, Evan Lysacek, Johnny Weir and Perez Hilton who came to support the couple. Even though Bruno Tonioli was rumored in dating with Matt Law, he washed the rumor saying Matt Law was just his good friend.