30 June 2009

TV Tuesday: Dance Your Ass Off

The cable channel Oxygen is trying to draw in two new audiences with one new show, Dance Your Ass Off. It is part dance show and part weight-loss show. Each overweight contestant is paired with a professional dancer to learn a routine that will be performed in front of a live audience and judged. The contestants are also monitored by a fitness trainer, a doctor who specializes in sports medicine, and a nutritionist. Their weekly scores are calculated from the percentage of weight lost plus the scores from the judges, and the person at the bottom goes home. At the end of 12 weeks, the last one standing walks away with a $100,000 prize.

ABM and I watched the premiere episode of this show, and I have mixed feelings about it. I am a fan of The Biggest Loser and So You Think You Can Dance, so I was hoping that this show would give me the best of both. First, the good points. The doctor on the show is the same one that was on The Biggest Loser, which adds a little credibility for me. None of the contestants are professionals, but many of them have dance experience so the dancing was better than I expected. There were big weight losses in the first week so I'm expecting to see great transformations by the end of the show.

Now for the bad points. Really, there is only one: the costuming. The contestants were dressed in larger versions of costumes that size 2 dancers wear, and you can't do that. Above, I posted a video of what I consider the most heinous example from last night. I am a zaftig gal myself, so I never make fun of curvy girls when they show up in the media. One thing you must keep in mind, however, is that every size has certain fashions that they shouldn't wear. There is nothing self-loathing about knowing your body and knowing that you can't wear a midriff-baring top if you have extra weight around your middle. If these were skinny girls trying to emphasize non-existent breasts, I'd be saying the same thing. I'm praying that the wardrobe mistress will come to her senses next week and put the girls into something more attractive.

Do I recommend this show? If you are a dance fan, then you are already watching the current season of SYTYCD and you don't need this. Those of you suffering from Biggest Loser withdrawal (like me) may want to give it a shot.
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