WASHINGTON, DC—C-SPAN viewership rose an impressive 21 percent during the latest Nielsen ratings period, an increase C-SPAN executives are attributing to the cable channel's recent addition of The House Of Representatives Dancers.

C-Span

The dancers, an ethnically diverse sextet of young women who launch into high-energy hip-hop dance routines during lulls in congressional sessions, made their debut April 25 and have quickly become one of C-SPAN's most popular features.

"I used to switch channels during those long, boring House votes and filibuster speeches," Norwalk, CT, C-SPAN viewer Randolph Groelke said. "But now those are my favorite parts."

Said C-SPAN president Edward Rumsfeld: "We are deeply indebted to Kim, Randi, Dayna and all the other Fly Honeys on the H. of R. Dancer Krew for expanding our viewer base and introducing a broader demographic to the exciting world of federal legislation."

Special commendation was also awarded to DJ Funkmaster G, for "throwing down the beats which are sufficiently phat to accompany our nation's elected officials. Thanks to his tireless efforts on the turntables, the House Of Representatives is representin' coast-to-coast and worldwide."

To accommodate the newest stars of C-SPAN's daily broadcasts, the House chamber was widened considerably in April to add a light-up dance floor and a wall of video screens to the right of the Speaker's chair. A graffiti-strewn brick wall has been installed behind the speaker's podium to give the chamber a "street-scene" ambiance.

Next week's schedule on C-SPAN calls for debate on a possible revision to current AFDC law, voting on a controversial Florida Wetlands preservation bill, and "Gonna Make You Sweat" by C+C Music Factory.

The dancers are the first major addition to C-SPAN since the May 1997 introduction of "Mr. Slotnik," Congress' cantankerous landlord.

If C-SPAN's ratings remain up, the network plans to add a kickboxing segment to Senate proceedings.