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BCTV Dance Party Welcomes American Bandstand Dancers

Jun 22, 2018
A BCTV Special Event

The Sock Hop themed BCTV Dance Party Event on Tuesday, July 31 will have several special guests from the American Bandstand Philadelphia Dancers.

Reading, PA:  Berks Community Television, along with the producer, hosts and volunteers of the popular ‘Dance Party’ program are excited to announce that several of the American Bandstand Philadelphia Dancers will be joining the fun at the upcoming Sock Hop Dance Party.  This event will be held Tuesday, July 31 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Goodwill Beneficial Association Banquet Hall, 100 Madison Avenue in Reading.

American Bandstand was a massively popular television dance program from 1952-1989, with it’s prime years being filmed in Philadelphia from 1952-1963.  The program featured young people dancing to popular music.  The dancers that appeared on each show were selected from the crowd prior to each taping.  The show became iconic for its musical guest performances, fashion trends, and cultural impact.

David Frees, a dedicated BCTV Dance Party dancer and volunteer has served as the President of the American Bandstand Fan Club for fifty years.  He came up with the idea to bring the two dancing groups together this year, and program producer Ginny Hoffmaster happily agreed.

“As a little kid my mom, Ethel Frees-Mason, sat me down in front the of TV set and there was ‘Bob Horn’s Bandstand’. I was thrilled to see teenagers dancing to the latest records. I was hooked from then on.” Frees followed the show and fan clubs for years and in 1970 his American Bandstand Fan Club was born, with the blessing of Dick Clark himself. “He was my hero and still is. Dick was always good to me and always replied when I sent him my yearly newsletter.  His lovely wife still sends me notes and thank you cards now that he is no longer with us.”

Now David’s dream of getting the American Bandstand regulars to dance on TV one more time is coming true.  He expects many Bandstand ‘regulars’ to attend the Dance Party event, including Arlene Sullivan, Frankie Levins, Marylyn Brown and Diane Iaquinto (both winners in the Mashed Potato Contest 1962), Carmen Jimenez (a winner in the Pony Contest 1961), Lou Solino, Donna Fusaro, and Bob Horn era dancers Jim Hudson, Bob Hand, and Barbara Marcen.  This event will mark the 61st American Bandstand Reunion.

Hoffmaster added, “I am ecstatic to be able to bring our ‘past’ into our present. Having the American Bandstand originals join the BCTV Dancers will be a memorable event. It doesn’t get any better than seeing everyone, together, enjoying what we all love the most, music and DANCING.”

Dance Party is hosted by Ken Reppert and DJ Denny McConnell. All are welcome to dance or to watch!

The dance party event is open to the public, $5 per person entry, proceeds benefit BCTV, a 501(c)3 nonprofit media organization.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

This event will be telecast live on BCTV (Comcast 15, Comcast Southern Berks 965, Service Electric 19) from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31, and will stream live on www.bctv.org

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