Mary Fiocca Yanetti, 98, founder of a dance studio in South Philadelphia, died Friday, Nov. 30, of respiratory failure at Pennsylvania Hospital.

Mrs. Yanetti was known for the dance school she and her family opened in 1956 at their home in the 1100 block of South Seventh Street. AnnaMarie's School of Dance was named after Mrs. Yanetti's daughter, Anna Marie DiEgidio.

The first floor was where classes in ballet, tap, jazz dancing, swing, and acrobatic dancing were taught. The second and third floors were living quarters for the family, said Mrs. Yanetti's grandson Jason Douglas.

Mrs. Yanetti insisted that all the children who attended gain exposure by dancing at the front of the room.

"Nobody stays in the back," she told her family. "If you give everybody a chance, they'll be fine."

The school has been continued by Douglas under the name DanceAdelphia. It operates from a studio on Snyder Avenue in South Philadelphia and specializes in modern styles.

Many of its students now operate their own dance studios or perform with dance companies, on Broadway, or in videos, Douglas said.

"My grandmother was always in here, giving them candy and doing the Mummers strut here, up until age 97," Douglas said.

She met her husband, Peter, through mutual friends. He died in 1997.

Surviving in addition to her daughter and grandson are another daughter, Marguerite Bradley; six grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

A viewing from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at Pennsylvania Burial Co., 1327 S. Broad St., will be followed by an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass at St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi Roman Catholic Church, 712 Montrose St. Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery.

Donations may go to Nicholas J. Montone, secretary, South Philadelphia Lions Club, 500 St. Michael Dr., Philadelphia 19148.

Contact Bonnie L. Cook at 215-854-2611 or bcook@phillynews.com.