The Dance Contests
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One way to spotlight the songs, the dancers, and the dances on American Bandstand was to hold dance contests. Kids in the  studio loved them, and the viewers did, too. The rules were simple. Contestants had to sign up to get a number, then once a week they pinned numbers on their backs, much like they did in the dance marathons in the thirties. During the contests, viewers cast ballots for their favorite dancers. Each contest lasted three or four weeks, after which winners were announced on the air. Several of the winners confessed that the voting was done more on popularity merit. Still, they took their prizes, which ranged from portable TVs to juke boxes.