What Dance Your Ass Off Says About America

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As I type this post, I’m paying way more attention to Oxygen than I am to my laptop. While it isn’t my go-to channel while I’m working (that honor belongs to CNN and TLC), I’ve been stuck here all day. After watching an old season of America’s Next Top Model that I skipped the first time around, it was time for my (Monday night at 10 pm) appointment viewing: Dance Your Ass Off!

Haven’t see it? Here’s the premise: A group of overweight amateur dancers compete to not only nail a new dance routine each week, but to lose the most weight while they do it—all to win $100,000 and bragging rights. It has everything: the hope of The Biggest Loser, the intricate steps of Dancing With the Stars and the drama of Project Runway (okay, maybe not quite as much as PR, but maybe as much as that awful knockoff The Fashion Show).

I’m not the only one who loves it. With 1.3 million viewers, the first episode set a record as Oxygen’s most-watched series premiere ever. I find myself grinning like a fool every time the scale shows that someone has dropped five pounds since last week’s weigh-in, and I like to think that our collective love for this show is a demonstration of camaraderie and support as the contestants sweat it out on the soundstage.

Losing weight is something so many people struggle with, whether you need to drop enough to reverse your diabetes or you just wanna wear those shorts without being self conscious, and I think there’s something about the triumph of will and hard work over bad situations that really resonates in these crazy times when so much of our future seems to lie outside of our control, whether it’s holding on to a job, having health insurance or finally getting rid of that extra weight. It’s nice to think of folks all over the country rooting for these folks as they make changes in their bodies—and their lives…

Or maybe we just get a kick out of seeing big girls do splits. (I’m just saying; I can’t do them!)

Ever watch Dance Your Ass Off? Why do you like it (or hate it)? Were you annoyed by The Fashion Show, too? Tell me!


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