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.
Gil Brady and his wife Nicki were multiple Jitterbug and Swing champions in the 1940s and 1950s. They danced in many movies such as “Don’t Knock The Rock“, “The Benny Goodman Story” and “The Girl Can‘t Help it.” Gil’s signature eyeglasses make them immediately recognisable. Performing to “Rip it Up” in “Don‘t Knock The Rock” they inspired many dancers both past and present.
Gil and Nicki opened Ceasar’s Palace in Las Vegas with Frank Sinatra and also had a dance group called “Gil and Nicki and the So and So’s.” Both were inducted into the “California Swing Dance Hall of Fame” in 1991. Nicki passed away in 1989 and Gil now lives in Las Vegas.