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Carole Scaldeferri Spada, 'Bandstand' dancer, dies at 70

Carole Ann Scaldeferri Spada, 70, of Newtown Square, a regular dancer on American Bandstand from 1957 to 1961, has died.

Carole Ann Scaldeferri Spada, 70, of Newtown Square, a regular dancer on American Bandstand from 1957 to 1961, has died.

A funeral director in Newtown Square confirmed Monday night that Mrs. Spada had died, but declined to divulge the details before meeting with her family.

He said funeral services are pending.

Known then as Carole Scaldeferri, Mrs. Spada was among the teens who jitterbugged and slow-danced their way to fame in a TV studio in Philadelphia, while host Dick Clark spun what are now oldies.

"It is with much sadness that we have lost one of the most loving and beautiful souls - Carole Scaldeferri Spada has passed away," Bunny Gibson, who identified herself as a "Bandstand buddy," posted on Facebook.

"For all those who knew her throughout her life and for those who watched her dance on American Bandstand, Carole was full of love and full of God. Carole made the world a better place," Gibson wrote on a Facebook page called America's Original Bandstand Dancers.

While the teens, all homegrown talent, rocked onstage, two cameras homed in on them for close-ups. The TV exposure, plus the profiles some of the dancers were given in Teen magazine in the late 1950s, made them instant celebrities.

The dancers, as Teen wrote, were the "most famous unknowns on TV today."

In a obituary for Dick Clark, who died April 18, 2012, a reporter wrote: "Lou DeSera, Carmen Jimenez, Carole Scaldeferri, Rosemarie 'Little Roe' DiCristo: they may sound like characters on The Sopranos, but they were just ordinary kids, with extraordinary luck of being in Philadelphia at the moment the old town lit the fuse for the rock explosion."

In an online page marking her 68th birthday on Nov. 23, 2011, Bandstand "documentarian" Charles W. Amann III posted: "The name Scaldeferri and American Bandstand go hand-in-hand. She was one of the great stars of the Philadelphia years.

". . . Although, unlike some others, Carole never really had a steady dancing partner, she danced with all the good-looking Italian boys and that one special non-Italian whom everyone loved - Harvey Robbins."

Songs she liked to dance to, Mrs. Spada wrote online in June 2010, included "Little Darlin'," "Sixteen Candles," "Tears on my Pillow," "Splish Splash," "Never on Sunday," and "Let's Do The Stroll."

She danced the "push" - a "type of jitterbug . . . you could do in half time - the hop, the bop, and the stomp," she wrote.

Mrs. Spada attended West Catholic Girls High School.

James Morgan, who danced 17 times on Bandstand and stayed interested in it over the years, said Mrs. Spada had run a beauty parlor in the suburbs.

She and her husband, Richard Spada, lived in Philadelphia and Lansdowne before moving to Newtown Square.

Survivors were not immediately known.

Watch video clips of the American Bandstand dancers here.