In 1966, Batman stepped out of the comic book and onto the small screen, and the world was never the same again. As opposed to the brooding and serious tone of the modern movies, back then the TV show was playfully made for laughs, which suited the anti-authoritarian ‘60s quite well, while also completely captivated both adults and children’s attention.
“Every once in a while an event occurs which seems so exquisitely right for its own time that one is left gasping at the infinite perfection of the Grand Design,” praised LIFE magazine. “Such an event was the arrival of the TV show Batman.”
As the show’s popularity grew, the fans began to make themselves over in the caped crusader’s image. LIFE’s coverage of Batmania in 1966 included a Batman-themed dance class in New York City, where children could don the gear and fly with capes. Take a look at the class through 15 fascinating vintage photographs taken by LIFE photographer Yale Joel: