Americans battle their bulge on TV dance show

LOS ANGELES, April 24 Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:55pm EDT

LOS ANGELES, April 24 (Reuters) - Take the hip-shaking on "Dancing with the Stars" and mix it with the challenges of "The Biggest Loser," and audiences will get the idea of a summer TV show in which overweight contestants shed pounds by dancing.

"Dance Your Ass Off", starting in June on the Oxygen cable TV channel, features 12 contestants battling their bulge on the dance floor and weight scales, hoping to win $100,000.

Judges whittle down the contestants each episode by combining scores for their hip-hop, jazz, tango and pole dancing routines and the number of pounds they have shed.

Producer SallyAnn Salsano told reporters on Friday she has weight issues herself and hopes the 12-week program would show Americans that losing weight does not have to be torture.

"They are having the time of their life and they are shedding weight," she said.

More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, according to a January report from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.

"Dance Your Ass Off" is hosted by actress Marissa Winokur, who won a Tony award as Tracy Turnblad in the musical "Hairspray" on Broadway, It begins airing on June 29.

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