OXYGEN INTRODUCES NEARLY 3,000 LBS OF SHAKING AND RATTLING ROLLS WITH 'DANCE YOUR ASS OFF: THE WEIGHT IS OVER' CASTING SPECIAL PREMIERING TUESDAY, JUNE 16 AT 11PM ET/PT
Half-hour Special Tips the Scales Giving Viewers Sneak Peek at Upcoming Series "Dance Your Ass Off" Set to Premiere Monday, June 29 at 10PM ET/PT
NEW YORK, May 19, 2009 - Twelve finalists, nearly 3,000 lbs, one goal - to go from an eating machine to a dancing machine! Oxygen unveils the fun lovin,' hip shakin' and bootie poppin' contestants of Oxygen's new dance/weight loss competition series, "Dance Your Ass Off," in the casting special "Dance Your Ass Off: The Weight is Over," premiering Tuesday, June 16th at 11PM ET/PT. Hosted by TONY Award�-winning actress Marissa Jaret Winokur, 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. The 10 one-hour episode series launches on Monday, June 29th at 10PM ET/PT with a "plus-sized" 90-minute premiere.
Bringing dance and diet together, "Dance Your Ass Off" features talented, full-figured contestants who will have to lose to win. "Dance Your Ass Off: The Weight is Over" reveals the contestants' stories - their struggles and aspirations -and give viewers a look at the men and women who will bust their moves on the dance floor each week.
"Dance Your Ass Off: The Weight is Over" also is available to viewers prior to the on-air premiere via Oxygen VOD on June 12th and at local Crunch gyms, the national fitness chain, starting June 5th.
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! 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.
Meet this season's "Dance Your Ass Off" contestants:
Alicia, 23, Scranton, PA
Alicia was raised in a Chilean and Italian family, where food was the center of their happiness. Heavy her whole life, Alicia is excited to battle her weight by dancing the pounds away.
Angela, 24, Boise, ID
Angela's love for dance began with tap dance at the age of three. Angela and her mom decided to open a wedding planning firm to make other girls' dreams come true. Angela is committed to learning how to develop a healthy lifestyle.
Brandon, 20, Canton, OH
Brandon is tired of being known to ladies as the "friend" or "brother" type. After deciding there had to be a change in his life and eating habits, Brandon is looking to achieve his greatest goal-being the next R&B star.
Karla, 29, Phoenix, AZ
Karla is a comedian and loves musicals and just about any type of music, as long as it's not the beer barrel polka. Karla hopes after "Dance Your Ass Off," she will inspire other to meet their weight loss goals.
Mara, 32, Detroit, MI
Mara grew up dealing with the problem of being overweight all her life. Her brother gained weight after going off to college and suddenly passed away due to undiagnosed diabetes. Mara has recently been diagnosed with diabetes and has committed herself to pursuing a healthier lifestyle. She realizes what a great opportunity "Dance Your Ass Off" is in making her goal of being "fit and fine" a reality.
Miles, 29, Salt Lake City, UT
Miles' father passed away early in his life due to unhealthy eating habits. As a result, Miles, a veteran of the US Coast Guard, is ready to dance the pain and pounds away and change his life for the better.
Pinky, 29, Phoenix, AZ
Pinky has been dancing all her life -- her brothers are in a street dance crew, but doesn't believe she has the body or endurance to keep up. Pinky hopes "Dance Your Ass Off" is her ticket to dancing with her family on stage and proving everyone wrong!
Ruben, 43, Las Vegas, NV
Ruben, a wardrobe designer for Cirque du Soleil, used to be a professional dancer performing in many stage shows. Though he is frequently asked to do media interviews and attend media-related event, he never feels comfortable in front of the camera due to his appearance. Ruben is excited to be back on the stage where he says he is the happiest.
Shayla, 27, Corona, CA
Shayla has always been athletic and had a very active lifestyle growing up. She is currently an academic planner and tutor, helping high school students get into college. Shayla looks forward to getting back into the shape she once was in.
Tara, 32, Orlando, FL
Tara, a wife and mom, works at an advertising company and is building her wedding planning business. Tara's goal is to teach her children how to eat healthy and exercise so they never have to struggle with weight loss.
Trice, 24, Chicago, IL
Trice's parents introduced her to music at a very young age. Her dad was the singer in the family and her mom was always the dancer. Trice has always been overweight and feels her weight has held her back from performing on stage. Trice is now focused on the weight loss and her career as a PR consultant as well as working on a new clothing line for women all shapes and sizes.
Warren, 29, Orem, UT
Teased about his weight as a child, Warren continues to get the "fat" comments still today. Warren has a degree in nursing and currently works with individuals with mental and physical disabilities. He is married with two children, and he hopes to get healthy for his family and continue to help others.
Viewers can find more information about each contestant and their professional dance partners starting June 9th on www.oxygen.com.
In addition, Oxygen enters its first-ever multiplatform marketing partnership with Crunch National Fitness Chain. The integrated brand initiative features on-air, online and on site components including a "Dance Your Ass Off" class at locations nationwide throughout the run of the show, a co-branded fitness DVD available timed to the season finale later this year. Also, online components include exclusive videos, fitness tips, merchandise for sale, e-newsletters and mobile content.
"Dance Your Ass Off" is produced by 495 Productions with SallyAnn Salsano serving as executive producer and Joel Zimmer as co-executive producer, with concept by Lisa Ann Walter and Kate Rigg also serving as executive producers.
ABOUT 495 PRODUCTIONS
495 Productions is a dynamic reality television production company that was launched in by veteran producer Sally Ann Salsano. In the company's three years since launch, 495 Productions has emerged as one of the leading production companies that creates, develops and produces innovative and cutting-edge programming for all major cable and network broadcasters, including the company's overall deal with MTV. Named after Salsano's hometown expressway in Long Island, 495 Productions is the foremost production company for identifying the most interesting everyday people, putting them in unique situations and creating water-cooler programming unlike any other on television.
ABOUT OXYGEN MEDIA
Oxygen Media is a multiplatform lifestyle brand that delivers relevant and entertaining content to young women, wherever they are. Oxygen is rewriting the rulebook for women's media, with a vast array of unconventional and original content including "Bad Girls Club," "Pretty Wicked" and "Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood." Popular features online include makeOvermatic, tweetOverse and hormoneOscope. Available in 74 million homes, online at www.oxygen.com, or on mobile devices at wap.oxygen.com, Oxygen Media is a service of NBC Universal.