Woman Shows Off Outstanding Dance Moves On Her 90th Birthday
Mar 29, 2021 by apost team
In our society, our age is what defines us too many times. These numerical categories can sometimes seem arbitrary. For example, it seems like we become adults overnight thanks to the legally stipulated age of 18, but mentally we may not always feel our age. There is a reason the saying “Age is just a number;” because it cannot be truer! How we feel about ourselves and how we want to live dictates our life more than the number of birthdays we have celebrated in our lives.
While our age is required for practical purposes, at the end of the day, we are not bound by a number. Thanks to the fast-paced developments in medicine and technology, today we find ourselves living longer and healthier lives. This is giving more people the opportunity to enjoy the golden period of their lives for much longer. A large number of senior citizens are showing us that just because they are older does not mean that they are limited.
A 90-year-old woman, Jean Phelps Veloz, is showing us how great the 90s can look! She is an accomplished and celebrated dancer, and we are sure that she can totally out-dance us by the looks of it. Veloz has been dancing all her life — and shows no signs of slowing down yet. This incredible video from 2014 also highlights how well Veloz can perform; she has men lining up for a turn to shimmy with the birthday girl! This video is sure to get you up and dancing as well.
Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-)
According to her website, Veloz "provides a living bridge from the Los Angeles dance scene of the 1940’s to the present-day Lindy Hop revival that has swept the United States and the rest of the world since the late 1990’s." Back in 1940, when Veloz and her brothers, Ray and Bob Phelps, were teenagers, they were swept away by the dance trend of the time: the Jitterbug and Lindy Hop.
Reportedly, Veloz and her brothers would come back from school, invite their friends over and spend their time dancing in the living room together. The constant enjoyment that came from dancing with her friends certainly fueled Veloz and her brothers to continue with this routine and soon enough, Veloz and her brother Ray got so good that they entered a Jitterbug contest in Santa Maria, which they ended up winning and beating out 500 other contestants. What a great achievement for teens!
After the Phelps family moved to Los Angeles in 1942, Veloz was able to enter more contests where her dance skills were recognized for their excellence, so much so that she began getting opportunities to appear on the silver screen. Some of the movies that she has danced in are "Swing Fever," "Groovie Movie," "Swingin’ On a Tea Garden Gate," "The Horn Blows at Midnight" and "Jive Junction."
In 1948, Veloz expanded her skill set and became a dancing partner to the esteemed Frank Veloz with whom she performed exhibition ballroom dancing and even appearing on live TV with their own television show in 1950 to teach different styles of dance.
Eventually, Jean would end up marrying Frank in 1963. However, after Frank's passing due to cancer in 1981, Jean decided she did not want to dance anymore and went into retirement until 1992. She was approached by Rudy Linan who was a swing dancer from Las Vegas then, who encouraged her to dance again and be a part of his documentary on swing dancing. When she started dancing again, Jean was noticed immediately by the world!
She was invited to perform and teach at an annual swing dance event in Munich, Germany, where she was introduced to a new generation of dancers who wanted to learn everything she had to teach. Since then, she has been involved in a number of events and TV shows during which she teaches and participates. The video below was filmed in Thailand as Jean participated in a SEA Jam 2014 dance camp which was organized by Jitterbugs Swingapore and Bangkok Swing.
At the beginning, Jean dances with a young man to the tune "Let It Roll" by Pops Walsh with The Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra. After a few suave moves, the next enthusiastic participant lines up to have his turn with the extremely talented Jean, who shows no signs of slowing down despite her age! She truly personifies the saying, "Age is just a number" in the best way possible! One more person takes his turn to join Jean on the dance floor before the large crowd that had gathered cheer and applaud for Jean. Everyone seem to be blown away by Jean's spectacular dancing skills.
As it was her birthday on the day, Jean is surprised with a large cake and the entire crowd gathers together to celebrate her. Jean looks visibly moved and delighted by this development, and at the end of the video, blows the candles out while the crowd sings for her. What a beautiful birthday celebration for such an important milestone!
This isn't the last we see of Jean! In 2019, a then-95-year-old Jean once again took to the dance floor in Washinton, D.C! Though there are no updates since then about where Jean is today, we are sure that she will continue to dance for the rest of her life. The prestigious California Swing Dance Hall of Fame inducted Jean in 1996, and as per her website, she continues to be a celebrated icon in the world of Lindy Hop. As the world embraces older forms of dance such as Jitterbug, Collegiate Shag, and the Lindy Hop, dancers such as Jean continue to be inspirational figures in the dancing community.
There is a reason dancing is such an important part of human traditions across the world. It is almost a human instinct to move your body to the tune of music. Recent studies have also shown that dancing and movement can be therapeutic for many people. Among other benefits, dance therapy can help with stress reduction, disease prevention and mood management, according to goodtherapy.org. When working with a qualified therapist, dance therapy can also promote self-awareness, self-esteem and a safe space for expressing feelings.
If Jean Veloz has inspired you to take up dance, it may just be the best decision yet! Check out the video below to see if Veloz's moves will get you up and dancing as well:
What did you think of these amazing dance skills? Do you have a favorite dance genre? Tell us about it, and be sure to tell your friends about this video! Maybe they will be inspired to join a dance class as well!