As we get older, our bones and our joints start to ache. It becomes harder to move and get around. By the time we reach 90-years-old, swing dancing would be absolutely out of the question for most. But not for Jean Veloz.
Jean Veloz is 90-years-old, but she has the dance moves and grace of a 20-year-old. When she steps onto the dance floor, the audience’s jaws drop.
Jean is a legend in the world of Hollywood-style Lindy swing dancing. She has been dancing for over seven decades and was a very big part of the 1940’s swing dance craze. Jean also appeared in classic movies such as ‘Swing Fever.’ Her incredible moves in this clip have stayed with her for decades to come.
According to Jean Veloz’s website, “The Phelps (her maiden name) family moved to Los Angeles in 1942, which allowed Jean and her brothers the opportunity to dance at the LA hotspots. In 1943 Jean entered a contest at American Legion Stadium in Hollywood, where the prize was a Screen Actor’s Guild membership card and a dance cameo in the movie Swing Fever starring Kay Kyser and Marilyn Maxwell. Jean won the contest, her SAG card, and the opportunity to dance with Lennie Smith and Don Gallager in the feature-length movie.
This opened the door to many other opportunities. In 1944 Jean made the well-known MGM film short Groovie Movie with Arthur Walsh. Also in the short were Lenny Smith, Kay Vaughn, Irene Thomas and Chuck Saggau. Groovie Movie has become a favorite of swing dancers all over the world as they study this piece of history for the delicious look of this style of Lindy.“
After decades on the dance scene, Jean Veloz was inducted into the prestigious California Swing Dance Hall of Fame in 1996.
A video of a 90-year-old Jean, however, is one of her most impressive dance routines yet. Not only is it incredible that she is 90-years-old (she is now 93), but she moves as if she wasn’t a day over twenty. She’s incredible.
Jean steps onto the dance floor at the FatCat Ballroom in Phoenix, Arizona; she is joined by a swing instructor named Steven Conrad of the Arizona Lindy Hop Society. Together, they begin dancing as if they’d danced together for years.
The 90-year-old dancer floats and glides flawlessly across the dance floor in the video below. It’s impossible to not be in complete awe of this woman.
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