The Varsity Show

The Varsity Show was a popular live TV dance show on KTVA Channel 11 from 1959 to 1971 for Anchorage teens.

Watching Anchorage teens dancing on KTVA channel 11 was always fun because you could see them dancing to the latest hits, you'd see the latest dance moves and you could see your friends and people you knew.

I got a phone call that would change my life.

My friend Billie Blake told me that The Varsity Show's director, Tom Dougherty, said she could choose anyone as her dance partner as long as they were in high school and were a good dancer.

The auditions were set up so you had to face a firing squad of current show crew members sitting in front of you behind a long table.

But because I wanted to work on the show, I was prepared to walk over hot coals if I had to.

Sylvia Smith 1963 - 1964

Dancing circa 1968

Host Jim Roach and West Cheer 1963 - 1964

Check out all the fun pictures

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and enjoy the memories

The Varsity Show eBook - It's free

This one-of-a-kind TV dance show featured Anchorage area teens dancing to the latest hit song of the day.

But that's not the whole story.

Anchorage high school students earned scholarships by becoming staff interns on the show.

With a foreward by Ron Moore, The Royal Coachman himself, this free ebook is a fun read that's chock full nostalgia and memories of a very special time.

Check out the free Varsity Show eBook right now.

Your Stories

If you danced on the show, watched the show, or if you worked on the show, Anchorage would love to have you post your stories and comments right here.

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Other Varsity Show Stories

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I Split doing the Splits  
OK let's go way back - We're talking around 1969-1971. I actually got to dance on The Varsity Show which was Alaska's version of American Bandstand. …

How I Became a Staff Dancer on The Varsity Show 
One evening in November 1967, I got a phone call from my friend Billie Blake. It would change my life. I knew Billie from East High School. Billie …

The Challenge of Live TV 
On one show, while pitching a live commercial for Gilman's Bakery as my brother Dennis played background piano, I attempted to open a fresh loaf of cellophane …

Dancing on the Varsity Show 
Watching the Varsity Show on KTVA channel 11 was always fun because you could see Anchorage teens dancing to the latest hits, you'd see the latest dance …

My Terrifying Varsity Show Audition 
When I had just turned 13, The Varsity Show allowed teens from 13 years of age to seniors in high school to dance on the show. I got all spruced up …

Great fun working on The Varsity Show Not rated yet
I had the good fortune to work on The Varsity show in 1963. I think it was my sophomore year. Dancing every week and creating and presenting our own …

Modeling my way thru the Commercials Not rated yet
I was selected to be on the first ‘Teen Fashion Board’ for the Anchorage J.C. Penney store in 1967. We were taught how to apply make up and of course …

The Arsons on the Varsity Show Not rated yet
The Arsons were invited to play on the Varsity show early in our career. Dave Paxton (Farfisa Organ) and myself were just beginning to skate board. …

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Dancing to the Latest Hits

1963 - 1964

The show ran from 1959 to 1971 on KTVA channel 11

All across America, lots of cities had local teen dance shows on TV, and Anchorage was no exception.

Saturday afternoons from September to May, Anchorage teens could tune to KTVA channel 11 to watch area high school kids dance to the latest hits, talk about what was happening in their local high schools and even catch a performance by local teen bands.

It was a lot of fun to go to the studios of KTVA to dance on live TV. Your family and friends could watch while you were out there on the dance floor showing off your best moves. And it was a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon with your friends.

Host Jim Roach with Jon Carter on camera, 1963 - 1964

A live Alaskan teen dance show with a "twist"

KTVA and Augie Heibert had a great idea.

Create a live local TV dance show for Anchorage teens and give Anchorage teens the opportunity to work in front of and behind the scenes on the show.

Did you dance on the program?

Did you watch the TV show?

Or, did you work on the show?

Podcast Special

The Big Alaska Show on KFQD radio did an interview with Mike & Mary of Anchorage

Check out Varsity Show memories right now.

Host Mike Ray with a recording session guitarist, circa 1968

Show crew, circa 1968

Host Ron Moore

Anchorage visitors would love for you to post your stories and comments.

It's Easy, It's Fast, It's Fun

Post your Varsity Show stories

Behind the Scenes

The Varsity Show crew Anchorage Memories

Show crew 1963 - 1964

Around Spring time each year, The Varsity Show held auditions for high school teens that wanted to be on the shows crew in the fall.

Teens that were chosen would spend the summer learning their crew position. Camera, directing, sound, stage manager, "Go Go Dancers", or commercial models - just to name a few.

When school began in the fall, the show went live each Saturday from the studios of KTVA Channel 11 in the McKinley building near downtown Anchorage (later the McKay building following the 1964 earthquake). And then from the KTVA studios in Spenard.

The show ran from the 1950's to the early 1970's.

Turn up the sound and check out the video below

video courtesy of Mary Jane Dougherty

The Varsity Show

For so many years, having a live TV dance show for local Anchorage area teens, meant fun, music and having your friends watch you dance on TV.

Parents could drop their teens off at the KTVA channel 11 studios, go home and watch them dance on the show, then pick them up at the studio.

And because of the show on KTVA, lots and lots of people who still live in and around Anchorage, and those who now live in other states, have great memories.

So post your stories right here -

It's Easy, It's Fast, It's Fun

Post your Varsity Show stories

The Show Crew

The show was set up so that Anchorage Alaska high school students could audition to work on the show in front of and behind the camera. For those who became crew members, scholarships were available at the end of each season.

Because of Augie Hiebert, the President of Northern Television, many Anchorage teens who wanted careers in radio or television, were given a great opportunity by working on the show.

Show alumni have worked in local Anchorage radio and television, for national television networks and in the Hollywood motion picture industry both behind and in front of the cameras.

To connect with The Varsity Show community, you can join us on Facebook

Live band performing circa 1967

Host Ron Moore in the white coat

Host Mike Ray and Go Go girls 1968

Wonderful Anchorage Memories

that fill your heart and feed your soul