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Top 10 TV Dance Shows

Written by: Editorial Staff

May 15, 2012
Filed Under TV 


tv dance showsContributed by Top 10 Guru Paul Seaburn

TV dancing shows have been popular since the early days of television.

Musical variety shows featuring teens rocking, rolling and otherwise bopping to pop hits have introduced the U.S. to both new music styles and new dance crazes. Competition shows showcasing amateurs and professionals vying for prizes have enjoyed a recent renaissance. I’m a lifelong fan of both.

These are my favorite TV dance shows.


10. The Arthur Murray Party

Arthur Murray Party

The original TV dance show, The Arthur Murray Party ran from July 1950 until September 1960 and was hosted by professional dancers and studio owners Arthur and Kathryn Murray. The show had a variety of celebrity guests who attempted to learn steps and gave away lessons at the Arthur Murray studios.

9. Pants-Off Dance-Off

Pants-Off Dance-Off

Probably the most unusual show, Pants-Off Dance-Off was a contest featuring amateurs dancing while stripping their clothes off, with the winner receiving $2100 after receiving the most votes from judges and viewers. Hosted the first season by Tila Tequila and Krista Ayne, it ran from 2006-2007 on Fuse TV and is now an online show.

8. Dance Fever

Dance Fever

Merv Griffin produced this show, an amateur couples contest that aired weekly from January 1979 to September 1987. Celebrity judges awarded weekly winners a $1000 prize, and the winners came back to compete for $5000 in the semifinals and a $25,000 grand prize package. Hosted for most of it’s run by Deney Terrio, the show also had a weekly guest musical group or singer.

7. Shindig!


Shindig! was a West Coast primetime musical variety competitor to American Bandstand that ran from September 1964 to January 1966. It was hosted by L.A. DJ Jimmy O’Neill and featured a group called The Shin-diggers with then-unknown actress Teri Garr and house band called the Shindogs with Glen Campbell, Billy Preston, Leon Russell and other soon-to-be-big-named musicians.

6. Hullabaloo


Another musical variety show in the American Bandstand vein, Hullabaloo ran from January 1965 to August 1966 with weekly hosts such as Petula Clark, Paul Anka and Frankie Avalon singing songs and introducing popular musical acts like The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Sonny & Cher and the Supremes. The Hullabaloo Dancers gyrated to the songs with go-go girls in cages performing during the Hullabaloo A-Go-Go.

5. So You Think You Can Dance

So You Think You Can Dance

This is a competition show created by the producers of American Idol and run in a similar manner. Amateurs with fancy footwork audition around the country for a chance to perform in a variety of styles ranging from classical to ballroom to hip-hop and more. Couples wear extravagant outfits that merge ballroom wear with theme costumes. Contestants are eliminated by judges and the viewing audience and the winner gets $250,000 and the title of America’s Favorite Dancer.

4. Solid Gold

Solid Gold

The hottest performers on TV in the 80’s were the Solid Gold Dancers on the show of the same name which ran from September 1980 to July 1988. Skimpy costumes and sexy routines were the norm as they swung, shook and shimmied to Top 10 pop hits with an ever-changing series of hosts, including Dionne Warwick in the first season and Andy Gibb and Marilyn McCoo in the second. The show also featured music videos and comedy sketches.

3. Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With The Stars

Dancing with the Stars is based on the British competition Strictly Come Dancing and has versions in over 35 countries worldwide. The U.S. series pairs well-known and has-been celebrities with professional ballroom competitors whose performances are scored by professional judges and then voted on by viewers. A top show in the U.S. since 2006, it is hosted by Tom Bergeron and former winner Brooke Burke Charvet.

2. Soul Train

Soul Train

From October 1971 to March 2006, Soul Train was the African-American answer to American Bandstand. Host and creator Don Cornelius introduced artists from R&B, soul, hip hop, funk, jazz and disco performing their hits while the studio audience hit the strobe-lit floor with the latest moves and grooves. A popular segment was the Soul Train Line where guys and gals formed two lines and displayed their moves towards the camera.

1. American Bandstand

American Bandstand

The granddaddy of all music performance shows and by far the most popular and well-known, American Bandstand ran from 1952 to 1989 and was hosted for all but a few of those years by America’s oldest teenager, Dick Clark. Teens danced to current Top 40 music performed by the artists and virtually all of rock music’s hit makers appeared on or made their debuts on American Bandstand.

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