May 20, 2009

Oxygen to air dance/weight loss show

The U.S. cable television network Oxygen has announced plans to air a new dance/weight loss competition series called Dance Your Ass Off.

The casting special Dance Your Ass Off: The Weight is Over is set to premiere June 16, with Tony Award-winning actress and former Dancing with the Stars competitor Marissa Jaret Winokur serving as host.

The half-hour special gives viewers a glimpse into the lives of the contestants who have had issues with their weight and hope to dance to unleash their inner thin, Oxygen said in a news release.

The 10-episode series is set to debut June 29 with a 90-minute premiere. Subsequent episodes will be an hour long. The 12 contestants weigh an estimated 3,000 pounds combined.

Dance Your Ass Off: The Weight is Over also is available to viewers prior to the on-air premiere via Oxygen video on demand June 12 and at some Crunch gyms, starting June 5.

Throughout the upcoming season, each contestant is paired with a professional dance partner who will train them for their weekly stage performances -- ranging from hip-hop to ballroom and even pole dancing, Oxygen said. Then they shake and rattle their rolls in front of a live studio audience and a panel of expert judges. The judges score the routines, and then the contestants weigh in to reveal their weekly weight loss. The dance score and the weight loss are combined for an overall score, which determines who is sent home each week.