A Classic TV Dance Show – Check Out Dance Fever!

Before Strictly Come Dancing, So You Think You Can Dance, and Dancing with the Stars, there was Dance Fever. With this in mind, why not spend some time with this classic TV dance show from the 1970s and 1980s?

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Disco Dancing for the Masses

Dance Fever was a weekly dance show that aired from January 1979 through September 1987.  Although disco was the star in this series, part of the fun was seeing the three celebrity judges as they rated the amateur dancers.  

Couples danced for a chance to win $1000 and an opportunity to continue to the final competition of the season. Overall champions won $50,000 and, of course, bragging rights.

To begin with, the popular syndicated series was hosted from 1979-1985 by dancer/choreographer  Deney Terrio. By the way, Deney is best known as the dance instructor who taught John Travolta to dance for the film Saturday Night Fever.

Finally, after leaving his role in the television show T. J. Hooker, actor/singer Adrian Zmed took over as host for the years 1985–1987.  

Show Format

This classic tv dance show opened with a dance performance by the host, followed by the introduction of the cast. We met the female dance team called Motion, the DJ, featured guest performers, and, of course, the judges.

The judges were personalities from television, film, music, and sports. It’s really fun to watch the stars from the disco era as they gently give a score to the aspiring dancers. People like Wolfman Jack, Richard Simmons, Bucky Dent, and Grace Jones put a familiar face on the show. Watching it now brings back a lot of memories.

Sports figures like Wilt Chamberlain liked to dance disco.
Wilt Chamberlain liked to dance.

When you talk about disco dancing, this a real period piece!

Speaking of memories, wait until you get a load of the outfits – lots of super-tight shiny, sparkly spandex going on. Not to mention, the hair! Great 70s and 80s disco styles that you can’t unsee. Ah, those were the days.

A new variety show?

The show began at the height of the disco craze. However, by the early 1980s, as disco began to fade a bit, other dance styles like ballroom dancing, line dancing, folk dancing, and even musical gymnastics became a part of the weekly competition.  With all that variety, this was truly a one-of-a-kind show.

Hopefully, I’ve sparked your interest and you’ll Google Dance Fever for some of the many videos that are available. Indeed, YouTube will be your go-to resource providing new insight into the disco era.

In addition, check out this Dance Safari post about New York City in the 1970s, “In Times of Trouble, We Need to Dance”.

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