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Bravo Hits Gym

Gym-goers in major television markets will have a chance to “step it up and dance” to workout routines inspired by the series of the same name that recently debuted on Bravo.

Members of the Crunch fitness chain, which has 30 gyms in cities including Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago and Atlanta, will be able to participate in dance-fitness classes that will mirror the dance style featured in that week's episode of reality competition Step It Up & Dance.

Bravo is always looking for innovative ways to reach “relevant” consumers, said senior vice president of consumer marketing Ellen Stone.

The network thought of working with dance schools, but none had a significant national footprint. Stone said Crunch already offered dance-themed workouts, and the fitness chain attracts consumers similar to those attracted to Bravo: young, urban individuals into self-improvement.

The eight-week show, which debuted April 3, features challenges between 12 of the best dancers from around the country. They will work with top choreographers to master dance styles from hip-hop to burlesque to Latin. One participant will be eliminated each week with the last dancer standing earning a $100,000 prize.

The gyms will post signs alerting those who don't take dance classes about the show, and Bravo will promote Crunch on-screen with “snipes,” those 1/3-screen text ads that appear through a program.

Crunch's brand promise is that members will be entertained while they exercise, so the Bravo proposal is “a perfect fit,” said Christina DeGuardi, vice president of marketing for the fitness chain. “We see ourselves in a similar way,” she added.

“Our people are inner stars” who will respond positively to the show tie-in, despite the fact the chain already has a pretty extensive dance program, the executive added. The show-related dance workouts began in the gyms last week.

In addition to the gym partnership, Bravo will have a show page at Bravo.tv, including a game that allows users to test their dance skills. Users will mimic dance steps shown on the screen, racking points for the dance by clicking on the step symbols before they disappear. Dancers from the show will create instructional videos for Bravo.tv so viewers can learn the dance routines at home.

“A lot of our viewers really like to learn,” Stone said.

Dance videos are also being created for delivery to mobile phones so viewers can “sharpen up their moves,” she joked.