flourish 23 to 27 February 2017 Munich Lindy Hoppers

Special Guests

Marcus and Bärbl, the organizers of the Rock That Swing Festival, are very grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and witness many of the old music and dance masters in person. These original dancers have passed on their inspiration and dedication, which is what keeps Marcus and Bärbl going. Therefore it has always been important for them to invite dancers from the heydays of Rock'n'Roll and Swing era as special guests, so that many people still can experience their stories and backgrounds first hand. It is a special honor to welcome this year Jean Veloz („Swing Fever“, „Groovy Movie“) and Ryan Francois!

Jean Veloz

Jean Veloz (USA)

Jean Veloz is an all-time great swing dance legend of the 40s. Her abundance of style and grace is the idol of many female Swing dancers today. It all began for Jean when she won a dance contest with her brother Ray Phelps in the Hollywood Legion Auditorium. Her prize was a membership card for the Screen Actors Guild and a part in the movie “Swing Fever” (1944). Shortly after that, Arthur Walsh called on her for “Groovy Movie”, a humorous short film about Jitterbug dancing (ca. 1945). She married Frank Veloz, the famous ballroom dancer, and eventually drifted away from swing as the big band era wound down. The resurgence of Swing dancing brought Jean out of retirement and back on the scene. After her first appearance in Europe Jean was invited to many other camps and events.


Jean Veloz - Swing Fever (1944)

Jean Veloz & Marcus Koch

Ryan Francois

Ryan Francois (UK)

Ryan Francois is one of the original revivalist of the Lindy Hop in the 1980s. He was mentored and trained by some of the original Savoy Lindy Hoppers such as Frankie Manning, Pepsi Bethel, and Mama Lu Parks. Frankie Manning, one of the greatest Lindy Hopper of his generation, considered Ryan to be his son number 3—an honor Ryan works constantly to live up to.

Ryan can look back on a stunning career. He is without question one of the best dancers and choreographers of our times. His achievements are many on stage, in competition, in movies, and television and is already celebrating his 32nd year as a choreographer, Lindy Hopper, and Jazz historian.

He is the choreographer for the enormously successful TV shows “Strictly Come Dancing”, “So You Think You Can Dance”, “Britain’s Got Talent” and “Dancing On Ice”. His style has become a very popular addition to today’s TV dance programs. He also was the star performer and associate choreographer of the HIT Tony nominated Broadway Musical "SWING" and a two-time winner of the U.S. Open and the American Swing Dance Championships.

Ryan is also known for his choreographic work on The Disney Motion Picture “Swing Kids” Starring Christian Bale & Robert Sean Leonard, the Olivier Award winning theatre production “Do You Come Here Often”, BBC 1’s “Strictly Dance Fever” Seasons 1 & 2, and the 2000 Tony Awards, at Radio City Music Hall. He has appeared in Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X”, “Idlewild” (starring OutKast and Macy Gray), “The Polar Express” (with Tom Hanks) as well as many music videos, most recently the iconic “2 Cousins” With Remy Kouame.

A classic, the Jitterbug Stroll, that is danced around the World is also his creation. He created that famous routine in the 80s to the song Woodchoppers Ball by Woody Hermann for a London dance event called “At Jitterbugs”.

With all his experience in the show business world Ryan’s passion is sharing his knowledge of Swing with fellow dancers and non-dancers alike. He has spent more than 20 years teaching the history and steps of the Lindy Hop all over the USA and the world. His dream is that everybody on the planet is dancing with a partner and they all know how to Swing Out.