Famed Lindy Hop Dancer Jean Veloz Dies at 98!

Jean Veloz Dies: Jean Grinnell Veloz was an American dancer and actress. She was born Jean Phelps on March 1, 1924, and died on January 15, 2023. Phelps and her brothers’ friends would practice the Lindy Hop dance together as a child. She later won a jitterbug competition in Santa Monica with her brother Raymond. More than 500 other people took part.

Famed Lindy Hop Dancer Jean Veloz Dies at 98!

Jean Veloz has died. He was an innovative Lindy Hop dancer who shined in Swing Fever and other 1940s Hollywood musicals. She turned 98. Rusty Frank, Veloz’s friend, agent, and manager, told The Hollywood Reporter that she died on Sunday at her home in Los Angeles.

Jean Veloz Dies
Jean Veloz Dies

Frank helped put on the event A Tribute to the Groovie Movie in 2010 to honor Veloz and her work in dance. Frank said, “Jean came up with a new way to swing dance that people worldwide loved.” “It was smooth and different from the jitterbug style popular in the 1930s and 1940s.”

Dancers of all ages looked up to her. In the 1943 MGM movie Swing Fever, Veloz danced with Lennie Smith and Don Gallagher, who played servicemen, in the fast-paced number “One Girl and Two Boys.” Kay Kyser’s band played music, and Marilyn Maxwell sang in between.

She also did the jitterbug in Where Are Your Children? (1943), starring Jackie Cooper. She danced with Bob Ashley in Jive Junction (1943), starring Dickie Moore. She danced with rug-cutter/hipster Arthur Walsh in the 10-minute MGM swing short Groovie Movie (1944).

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She danced with Dean Collins in The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945), starring a trumpet-playing Jack Benny. After dancing in the chorus line of shows choreographed by Nick Castle at the El Rancho Vegas hotel in 1946, she began training with Frank Veloz at one of the schools he and his wife, Yolanda, ran together.

(The famous dancers were in movies like “Pride of the Yankees” from 1942.) She would soon work with him. Before they married in 1963, they taught Anthony Dexter how to dance the tango for the lead role in Valentino (1951).

They also worked as choreographers on Latin Lovers (1953), which starred Lana Turner, Rita Moreno, and Ricardo Montalban. Jean Grinnell Phelps was born in Los Angeles on March 1, 1924. She, her brothers Robert and Raymond, and their friends would often practice the Lindy Hop in their living room.

Later, she and Ray won a jitterbug contest with more than 500 other dancers in Santa Maria, California. She won a dance competition at Hollywood Legion Stadium with Gene Halverson. The win got her a Screen Actors Guild card and a part in Swing Fever.

She married Harold “Babe” Davi in 1947, but they split up. Jean Davi and Frank Veloz were on an L.A. game show called Fare for Ladies from 1956 to 1957. While teaching the dances, they did the tango, waltz, rhumba, samba, swing, and foxtrot on live TV.

Later, they helped choreographer Marge Champion with the 1975 CBS telefilm Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, which starred Maureen Stapleton and Charles Durning. When her husband died in 1981, she stopped performing, but in 1992, she went back on stage to make a swing documentary.

In 1996, she was given a place in the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame. Veloz was a dance teacher on ABC’s The Bachelorette in 2016. A year later, she danced to “One Girl and Two Boys” on NBC’s Little Big Shots: Forever Young, which Steve Harvey hosted.

Lindy-hopped to “Love Me or Leave Me” when she was 95. Veloz has been a special guest at many dance festivals over the years. The last one will be in February 2020 at Rock That Swing in Germany. Her niece Stacey is one of the people who lived.

Yolanda, who died, was married to the actor Bernie Kopell from 1974 until they split up in 1995. Frank, who met Veloz for the first time in 1997, said, “Every moment I spent with Jean was a lesson on how to live a life.”

She was always happy, and her love for other people was huge.” Please share this with your friends if you find it interesting. Visit Lighthousejournal.org for more celebrity updates and breaking news.

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