Jean Veloz, born Jeannette Phelps, is an American dancer born in the 1920s. She is known to many as the Hollywood-style icon of Lindy, a variety of dance that was started in America in the early 1930s. A fusion of jazz, tap, breakaway and the Charleston, Lindy became extremely popular for swing dancers everywhere.
Jean started her career at an early age. Like it did for many teenagers in the 1940s, dancing became a pastime for Jean and her brothers. On a whim, Jean and her brother, Ray, entered a jitterbug dancing competition, winning first place over 500 contestants.
In 1942, after moving to Los Angeles, Jean and her brother were able to dance at the hottest clubs, honing their skills with the elite. A year later, Jean entered a contest at the American Legion Stadium in Hollywood. The grand prize winner would receive a Screen Actors Guild membership card and a dance cameo in the movie Swing Fever. Jean conquered the competition, which opened up a wealth of opportunities.
Meanwhile, as Jean and Ray rose the ranks, Yolanda and Frank Veloz were the most famous couple in the dancing world. When Yolanda retired in 1948, Jean became Frank’s new dancing partner. Together they danced on Frank’s TV show for five years. In 1963, the two got married and stayed happily together until Frank’s death in 1981, the same time at which Jean decided to retire.
In 1992, Jean was convinced to come out of retirement and the world was quite enchanted by her comeback. She got into the “swing” of things again and was inducted into the California Swing Dance Hall of Fame in 1996.
At 90 years old, Jean Veloz has no intentions of slowing down.