Maria H. (ndm#130) (5423 Posts)

A Disney blooded, crafty, fun-lovin' wife/mom/organizer/planner, etc who is obsessed with all things Disney 🙂 Maria grew up with the Magic Kingdom and has loved watching WDW evolve into what it is today. A firm believer in the Power of Pixie Dust, she is the owner of The Disney Driven Life - A Community for Neurotic Disney People & a d.i.y. crafty blog, Carousel of Projects - create~inspire~share.



Julianne Hough and Maria Menounos to Executive Produce Alfonso Ribeiro and Jordin Sparks to Co-Host

From Executive Producers Julianne Hough (Actress and “Dancing with the Stars” judge and two-time champion), Maria Menounos (“E! News” Host, “Dancing with the Stars” celebrity dancer) and Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves (“Project Greenlight,” “Top Chef”) comes ABC’s dance special “#DanceBattle America,” airing MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), following the premiere of “Dancing with the Stars” Season 21.

Hosted by Alfonso Ribeiro (“Americas Funniest Home Videos”, “DWTS” Champion) and Jordin Sparks (Actress, Recording Artist, “American Idol” Winner), the hour-long network special was inspired by Hough and Menounos after the two engaged in a now famous dance battle via social media during the 2013 holiday season. The battle went viral and inspired other celebrities including Kate Hudson, Kristi Yamaguchi, Amber Riley and their families to join in the fun. Due to the huge popular response, Hough and Menounos challenged everyone in America to submit their own epic dance moves via social media for a chance to compete in “#DanceBattle America.

“I love that my family and friends coming together to challenge the Houghs on social media turned into a chance for America to dance!” said Menounos. “Ever since I left DWTS, I’ve always wanted to find a way to give others the magical experience I had. Watching the submissions for this show had me laughing, dancing or crying. It’s so inspirational and uplifting.” 

“The number one question I get from fans is ‘when are they going to make a Dancing with the Stars for the average Joe,’ so the idea behind this is that these families, friends and co-workers get to come to L.A. to work with a choreographer and go through a small version of the transformation that the celebrities go through on DWTS” stated Hough.

After an incredible nationwide response, eight teams were chosen to battle it out in Los Angeles on September 14.  The teams will go through a week of intense training with some of the country’s best choreographers to create a routine for their chosen song. Each team will battle against another team in four rounds of competition. At the completion of the battle rounds, the winning team will be selected by the studio audience and will receive a trophy and prize.

“#DanceBattle America is a show that was borne out by the popularity of social media and its ability to showcase people in their everyday lives. Most of our contestants have no desire to become professional dancers, but they’re taking this opportunity to show us their moves and remind us why we dance in the first place: because it’s fun” said Lipsitz.

“#DanceBattle America” is Produced by Magical Elves with Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz, Julianne Hough, Maria Menounos and James Sunderland serving as executive producers. Casey Kriley and Jo Sharon as co-executive producers.

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