Tag Archives: “Dance Your A– Off”

Lisa Ann Walter’s Unexpected New Calling

Lisa Ann Walter

Funny lady Lisa Ann Walter, on the promotional trail for her brand-new “The Best Thing About My A– is That It’s Behind Me” comedic book, reports she may be doing a combination “stand-up/pep talk-body image lecture” tour of colleges in coming months.  The “Dance Your A– Off” creator has found herself with a new calling thanks to the show, and she is listening.

“I’ve got all these wonderful young women who have become fans, who’ve thanked me for spreading this message” explains the advocate of healthy, self-accepting living.  “This generation, even more than my own, has responded because of the ‘DYAO’ website and Facebook page.  I’ve been getting a lot of interest for college dates.”

Among the subjects that have drawn interest:  “I’ve looked at some stuff the Kardashians were going through when Kim sort of first became visible, and Paris Hilton and some others were laughing, saying something like, her butt looked like two pigs in a bag.  She was quite young and that could have really hurt her self-esteem — to be made fun of and shamed that way.  And now look — girls want to look like Kardashians, even to buying these fake, add-on heinies!  Just a minute ago, it was this shameful thing.  How people judge your shape has a lot to do with where and when you’re born.  What’s not acceptible today might be in style tomorrow.  And girls judge themselves on images that are air burshed, that aren’t real — these weird Barbie images that don’t exist in nature.  It’s not right.”

The “Parent Trap,” “Bruce Almighty” and “Shall We Dance” actress is happy with her shapely shape these days, including her curvaceous backside — but she went through her own self-image battle as her marriage was coming unraveled a few years ago, something she touches upon in her book.  “To get 10 pounds off, I have to starve.  My body resists it every step of the way — and then, the second I eat something, it’s like pulling a rip cord on a raft — I blow up!  Is it worth doing crazy stuff, being miserable and starving just to be 10 pounds lighter?  Who cares?  I’d rather enjoy my life.”

Lately, the ever-energetic Walter does her funny gal pal schtick at Jon Lovitz’ L.A. club once a month between other engagements, enjoys her relationship with her (younger) boyfriend, and mothers her four children.

“I have identical twin boys who are 10 years old.  My goodness, it’s like raising Vikings.  They come in and say, ‘We booby trapped the whole back yard — come look!’  My big boy moved back home.  That’s what they do.  And he just signed a deal with Universal to write and produce music.  All those years of me dropping down to all those clubs on Sunset have paid off.   What I am is relieved.  There are a lot of musician-artists staying in their parents’ basements for a way long time.”

Her daugher, meanwhile, is in her first year of college, a pre-med student.  “She’s the smartest one in the family.  She may want to do neurobiological research,” Walter reports.  “I’m sure she’s interested because she lives with so many nut cases.  She wants to figure out her family.”

Poignant ‘Dance Your A– Off’ Fan Messages Keep Lisa Ann Walter Up at Night

Lisa Ann Walter

Lisa Ann Walter is riding high these days. The second season of her hit Oxygen show, “Dance You’re A—Off “ launches Monday (6/7) — and this Friday (6/4) marks the release of “The Killers” Ashton Kutcher-Katherine Heigl big screen action comedy, in which Walter plays a cougar “with a killer wardrobe” as she puts it.
It’s a pretty inspiring story, considering that not so many years ago, Walter was in the depths of despair with her marriage breaking apart and her self-esteem at an all-time low. Joining a dance class not only helped her pull herself out of the dumps, as she told us last year, it gave her the idea for a dance competition show with built-in body improvement as a bonus for the contestants.

Now, “DYAO” is a way of life for the actress, who finds herself staying up late answering fan messages.

“They contact me directly on our Facebook page,” she says. “I’ve got a book deal I’m working on for a book that deals with body image and self loathing. I’ve got a lot of things I’m working on. But I read some of these letters and it just stops everything. These people are in such pain, I have to correspond with them,” she says. “I had a girl, 120 pounds, writing to me about how much she hated her body. She’s ‘the fat one’ among her friends, she’s tried to stop eating – she wrote pages and pages of this. I said, ‘I don’t know what your height is, but if you’re physically active and 120 pounds you cannot be out of shape.’ This is the kind of skewed attitude about being super skinny that we – Hollywood – have been responsible for promoting in a lot of ways.”

Walter continues to be enjoying romance with her younger man beau, a film editor, and she and her children have recently moved to “a new place up in the hills. It’s close to where I was before the divorce,” says the funny lady.

“It’s actually within hiking distance from my ex, so we can hike up and do the tradeoffs with the kids. It’s the modern equivalent to a close-knit family.”

COOL SCHOOL: The Disney Channel is getting ready to go to “The Prom” – as in production gearing up for an original movie starring Aimee Teegarden of “Friday Night Lights.” The tag line: “Every couple has a story.” Forget the movie; this sounds like a natural for a reality show.

CRUEL SCHOOL: With the subject of bullying much in the news these days, it’s not surprising to find that film and TV projects that touch upon the theme are cropping up. For instance, John C. Reilly is not only making “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” which deals with a school massacre, he also has a film called “Terry” in preproduction. In it, he plays a school counselor who takes under wing a 14-year-old obese boy who is the main caregiver for his aged uncle – and who gets mercilessly teased at school. Reilly’s former “monster” character can identify.

There’s also a documentary called ““Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case that Made History,” in the works under the auspices of the Southern Poverty Law Center. It’s the true story of Jamie Nabozny, who suffered extreme anti-gay bullying every day at his Wisconsin school and saw the perpetrators go unpunished. The boy tried suicide. He did home schooling, transferred to a different school in a different state He grew up and – sued the school district and three administrators. And he won. The film will be distributed to schools as part of SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance series. Nothing like a little legal liability to wake people up.

Kutcher Leads Walter to Twitter

Lisa Ann Walter

Lisa Ann Walter

Lisa Ann Walter has been busy doing double duty – acting in the big-screen “Five Killers” comedy with Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl in Atlanta, while godmothering her June 29-debuting Oxygen show, “Dance Your A—Off.”

The funny lady dreamed up the concept for the reality dance competition/ weight loss program and serves as one of its judges and executive producers. “It’s been crazy. Ashton was talking to his guy from his television division one day when I was on the phone about ‘Dance Your A—Off” setside between “Five Killers” camera calls. “He got me doing the Twittering thing,” she adds. “Ashton Kutcher getting you into Twitter — it’s kind of like being baptized by Christ.”


For Walter, the “Dance Your A– Off” premiere marks the culmination of four years of determined effort, from the time she started pitching her idea to its arrival on Oxygen. There were lots of turn downs along the way. Walter was told by other network executives that with “Dancing With the Stars” on the air, there was no room for another dance-reality show. “Then ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ came along and proved them wrong,” she recalls. “But I kept pitching it, kept bugging my people. Everybody said no. I don’t care. I got two sitcoms on the air. I don’t know the meaning of ‘No,’” declares Walter, who gained weight for her co-starring role, with Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere, in the big-screen “Shall We Dance” – and dropped those pounds with the help of salsa dance lessons.


“I’m really fortunate, obviously, in that people sparked to it and the network and 495 Productions and Sally (producer Sally Ann Salsano) executed it in the spirit that kept my concept. To see these wonderful, beautiful contestants looking at me across the floor having lost 10 pounds in a week – it’s a great feeling,” she says.