Back to my theme of older dancers who inspire us with their perpetual youth (I know they’re not the norm, but they sure are fun to read about!) I have to talk about one of my personal favorites, Jean Veloz. Jean was a popular example of the smooth lindy style popularized by dancers like Dean Collins in the 1940s. In addition to her flawless style, she was also flat out adorable. Today, she’s just as energetic and unbelievably cute as she was 70 years ago. Few people get to age like this, but at least we know it’s possible. Here she is in the 1944 movie Swing Fever, the epitome of girl next door wholesomeness. Every soldier’s dream girl, she symbolized what we were fighting for. She’s dancing with two guys, and you can see another example of stealing, as describes in my October 18 post Stealing in Partner Dance. In this choreography they do some stealing and sometimes they politely hand her to one another instead of stealing her away.
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Last year (2012) she was honored at the Herrang Dance Camp in Sweden. You can see her familiar style still going strong as she dances with Marcus Koch, who can’t resist flirting with her as they dance. This is not a choreographed routine like the one in the movie. They’re just social dancing on a stage. She’s 88 in this clip:
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Yep, wouldn’t you like to dance like that at 88? It helps if you never stop, and add to that the right genes and lack of serious injury and you just might get to keep on going like Jean Veloz. Good luck to you all!
by LaurieAnn Lepoff
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