If you were in Michigan during the late 1980s and early 1990s, then at some point you probably ran into “The New Dance Show” while flipping through your five TV channels
(2, 4, 7, 50, 62).
Shown on local channel 62, the New Dance Show was the low-budget Detroit version of the Soul Train — a 30 minute show hosted by RJ Watkins that was predominantly African-Americans dancing to electrofunk, disco, EDM, and Detroit techno. Some of the regulars, Auntie Betty, Geezel Henry, Pam Thomas, Lawanda, Salt Shaker, Fast Freddie, became local celebrities. The Wikipedia entry says that the show debut in 1988.
Wherever there was a channel 62, you got The New Dance Show, and that means most of southeastern Michigan was aware of its existence. TNDS was a peek into a culture my friends and I had never seen before. It was certainly low-budget, but what it lacked in production quality, the New Dance Show made up for it in energy. Not to mention the show is considered a pioneer in Detroit EDM. What we found the most interesting were the dance lines:
It’s time for the Percolator It’s time for the Percolator It’s time for the Percolator It’s time for the Percolator!
Sad there isn’t an oral history of The New Dance Show, and Wikipedia gives you just enough information that leaves you wanting more.
Does anyone know where in Highland Park the show was filmed? How long was it on the air? Ah, the late 1980s and early 90s in Michigan, you had the Fab Five, Detroit Bad Boys, and The New Dance Show.