Bravo reveals host, mentor and judges for new 'Step It Up & Dance'
By Christopher Rocchio, 12/14/2007
Bravo has confirmed that former Saved by the Bell and Showgirls actress Elizabeth Berkley will serve as the host for the network's new Step It Up & Dance and revealed the identities of the show's mentor and judges.
Step It Up & Dance, previously announced as just Step It Up, will blend elements of So You Think You Can Dance and Project Runway.
Dancers competing against one another in Step It Up & Dance will be put through a series of challenges that will have them auditioning for various roles, such as a music video or Las Vegas stage show. In addition, the challenges are designed to both showcase the dancers' moves and test their abilities, with contestants being eliminated and only one receiving the $100,000 grand prize.
In addition to acting on television, in movies and on Broadway, Berkley is also trained in numerous dance styles, having studied with various teachers and choreographers and performing with principles from the American Ballet Theatre and The New York City Ballet.
Step It Up & Dance's 12 participants will be mentored by director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics' Circle Awards for his choreography in the 2005 Tony Award-winning Best Revival of La Cage Aux Folles. Mitchell also received an Emmy-nomination for choreographing The Drew Carey Show.
The performances of Step It Up & Dance's participants will be judged by director and choreographer Vincent Paterson and choreographer Nancy O'Meara.
Step It Up & Dance is being produced by Magical Elves' producers Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth -- the same duo behind Bravo's Project Runway and Top Chef reality series. It will follow a similar format to the aforementioned shows, combining competitions with behind-the-scenes footage of what it takes to make it in the professional dance industry.