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Dance Party USA/Dancin' On Air

About these 2 dance shows

Dancin' On Air:

Dancin' on Air was a 1980s television dance music reality show, forerunner of the TV show Dance Party USA. Both shows were produced and created by Michael Nise and his father Frank. The show started with US$100,000 from a small group of investors that included The Tonight Show Band leader Doc Severinsen. The program earned a 128% return on investment (ROI) within the first six months. Dancin' on Air was produced at WPHL Channel 17 studios in Philadelphia Pa.


Dancin' on Air broadcast live from October 12, 1981 to December 31, 1987. The program reached seven east coast states. The program was usually broadcast from WPHL-TV studios in Philadelphia, but occasionally broadcast on-location from other locations such as Penn's Landing, Ocean City, Wildwood, Six Flags Great AdventureDorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, and Hersheypark.

In 1986, Dancin' on Air was syndicated by KDOC-TV in Los Angeles. The show doubled KDOC's ratings in its first week, and was then picked up by the fledgling USA Network. Shortly thereafter, the show was renamed Dance Party USA, though both shows were produced for a time.

During 1986 and 1987, the Dancin' on Air studio set was that same studio used for Dance Party USA. As a result during the 1986-87 season, audiences saw the same regulars, guest dancers, and celebrities on both shows on the same days. The programs shared a weekly talk-radio show, Talkin' on Air, hosted by Michael Nise.

Hosts of the show included Eddie Bruce, Bill O'Brien, Chris Trane, Andy Gury, Annette Godfrey, Christy Springfield, Mike Rossi and Dave Raymond (the original Phillie Phanatic). Mike Rossi was a former dancer who transitioned to being a host and in 1986 became one of the youngest hosts of a live daily television program in American TV history. House dancers included Kelly Ripa[1] and Tom Verica.[2]

Performers on Dancin' on Air (and later Dance Party USA) included MadonnaWill Smith (as Fresh Prince), Duran Duran (with their first American TV appearances), Menudo (including a young Ricky Martin), Stevie WonderThe JetsNew EditionSweet SensationLL Cool JJody WatleyNew Kids on the BlockNine Inch Nails[3] and many other popular recording artists of the era.[4]

The show's theme song was written by Dan McKeown.

Dance Party USA:

Dance Party USA was an American dance television show that aired on cable's USA Network from April 12, 1986, to June 27, 1992. It was originally a half-hour, but was expanded to an hour in 1987.

The program was shot live-to-tape in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and based on Dancin' On Air, a program on Philadelphia's WPHL-TV.

1985-1986: Dave Raymond
1986-1989, 1992: Andy Gury, Annette Godfrey
1989-1991: Bobby Catalano, Heather "Princess" Day
1989-1990: Amy Brady, Alvin "Spicy" Ramirez, Cindy Stark
1989: Christy Springfield
1990: Aubrey Ayala, Kelly Berridge, Chris Bustard, Pete Conicelli, Joanna Mistretta, Matt Robbins, Desiree Wynder

Noteworthy regulars
Kelly Ripa, actress and host of Live! with Kelly
Jeffrey Glassman known as "Jazzy Jeff" went on to be a semi successful DJ in South Jersey.
Bobby Catalano was the man with the shades who would only remove his trademark sunglasses once a year on the Valentine's Day show. He was a very popular dancer and host.
Bruce Williams, who was known as "Beastie Bruce" because he wore a VW chain as did the Beastie Boys, had a rap collection that did well in the Philadelphia area. It was a break off of the Philadelphia rap group "Tuff Crew".
Dealin LaValley was a dancer on the show and went on to do Law & Order and national TV commercials. He now works as a celebrity makeup artist.
Heather Day was nicknamed "Princess" on the show because she was a fan of Prince and could be seen wearing dresses or other outfits like an eye-patch that reflected her devotion to the singer. She would meet the singer in 1994, two years after Dance Party USA ended its run.
Heather Henderson known as Baby Heather on the show, is a professional burlesque dancer, singer, model, filmmaker, producer and host for Ardent Atheists and Skeptically Yours podcasts. She currently is a member of Penn Jillette's No God Band and is a vocal activist for atheism and against psychics.

On April 10, 2016, Philadelphia magazine published an article detailing a new feud between many of the people who were on "Dance Party USA" in their teens and the producer of the show.[1]


External links