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BCTV Dance Party Welcomes American Bandstand Dancers

Jun 19, 2019

The Sock Hop themed BCTV Dance Party Event on Tuesday, July 30 will have several special guests from the American Bandstand Philadelphia Dancers

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 Tuesday, July 30 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 its 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 brought the two dancing groups together for the first time in 2018 with the help of program producer Ginny Hoffmaster.

“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.”

Last year’s event was a rollicking success, and the Bandstand Dancers have accepted the invitation to join in the fun again this year!  Frees 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), sisters Carmen Jimenez (a winner in the Pony Contest 1961) and Ivette Jimenez, Eddie Kelly, Lou Solino, Donna Fusaro, and Bob Horn era dancers Jim Hudson, Bob Hand, and Barbara Marcen.  This event will mark the 62nd American Bandstand Reunion.

Hoffmaster added, “I am ecstatic to be able to have the American Bandstand originals join the BCTV Dancers again for 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 Sock Hop is hosted by Ken Reppert and DJ Jim Kondisko. 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, pay-as-you-go throughout the evening. Attendance is limited to the first 200 people.

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 30, and will stream live on www.bctv.org. 

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