Why are we doing it first, you ask? AHHHHHHHHHH, my heart answers. And so I translate:
We've confirmed that the extraordinary Jean Veloz will be joining us at Lindyfest! She'll be sharing her skills in classes and her stories in our special Inside the Dancers' Studio (which I'll talk a bit more about in a minute). Here's the bio!
Jean Phelps Veloz, an icon of Hollywood-Style Lindy Hop, provides a living bridge from the Los Angeles dance scene of the 1940’s to the present.
After learning to dance with her brothers in the family living room, Jean’s career took off when she won a dance cameo in the film Swing Fever (1943) in a Hollywood dance contest. She also appeared in the short Groovie Movie (1944) and several full-length films including Jive Junction (1943) and The Horns Blow at Midnight (1945) where she danced with the legendary Dean Collins.
In the 1950s Jean moved into television, regularly performing on “The Frank Veloz Show” with her dance partner (and later husband) Frank Veloz. After a period of retirement Jean returned to the swing dancing world during the swing revival of the 1990s. She has been travelling the world ever since, bringing her knowledge and experience to swing dancers all over the globe.
If you haven't seen the video of her at SEA Jam (on her 90th birthday, no less), then get your life together and check it out.
And here's a clip from Swing Fever.
And that's not even all! We'd also like to welcome another newcomer to Lindyfest, Mr. Alde Lewis, Jr.
Mr. Lewis began his career as a modern dancer in New York City. Early in his career, he won the coveted Amateur Night at the Apollo contest as a dancer, where he was witnessed by the late tap veteran Charles "Honi" Coles. Mr. Coles suggested that Lewis become a tap dancer and offered to mentor him.
Mr. Lewis went on to have extensive credits in dance, film, television and theatre as an actor, dancer, director, and choreographer. He was the featured Tap Dancer in “Cab Calloway’s Cotton Club Revisited," and was in the cast of Francis Ford Coppola’s film “The Cotton Club.”
Here's a video of him performing an homage to Mary Lou Williams.
Here's another video, from the Secret Society of Twisted Story Tellers
Mr. Lewis will be joining us for Inside the Dancers' Studio alongside Jean. I guess I should talk about that.