Famed Lindy Hop Dancer Jean Veloz Dies at 98

Jean Veloz interview
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Jean Veloz, an iconic dancer who popularized the Hollywood style of Lindy Hop in the musical comedy Swing Fever and more recently worked as a dance instructor on The Bachelorette, has died. She was 98.

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Veloz passed away on Sunday (January 15) at her home in Los Angeles, as confirmed by her friend, agent, and manager Rusty Frank, who co-produced 2010’s A Tribute to the Groovie Movie, which honored Veloz.

“Jean innovated a style of swing dance that was admired around the world,” Frank said (via THR). “It was silky smooth and greatly contrasted the more jitterbug style prevalent during the 1930s-’40s. Every moment spent with Jean was a lesson on how to live a life. Her positive attitude was unparalleled, her love of people immense.’”

Veloz made a 2017 appearance on NBC on the Steve Harvey-hosted Little Big Shots: Forever Young, where she danced to “One Girl and Two Boys,” one of her memorable routines from the 1943 musical comedy Swing Fever. In 2016, she helped coach contestants on The Bachelorette.

Born on March 1, 1924, in Los Angeles, Veloz began her career dancing with her siblings, where they entered and won various competitions in California. After winning a dance contest at the Hollywood Legion Stadium, Veloz earned herself a Screen Actors Guild card and soon landed her role in Swing Fever.

She would go on to appear in several other movies throughout the 1940s, including Where Are Your Children? (1943), Jive Junction (1943), and The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945). She also appeared opposite Arthur Walsh in 1944’s Groovie Movie, a short film that explored the history of swing dance.

In more recent years, Veloz made guest appearances at various dance festivals around the world. She continued dancing well into her 90s, as seen in the video below, where at 95, Veloz was filmed Lindy Hopping to “Love Me or Leave Me.”