Happy 100th Birthday, Dean Collins!

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Today, May 29, is the 100th birthday of lindy hop legend Dean Collins. Born Sol Ruddosky on May 29, 1917, Dean is known for his smooth style of lindy (or "Hollywood-style" as it was later called) and bringing lindy hop from New York to LA. 

Dean grew up in Newark, New Jersey, learning from his sisters in his teens, and soon after dancing at the Savoy Ballroom. He moved to Los Angeles in 1936 to make it big in Hollywood. Here's a clip from his first film appearance in 1939: "Let's Make Music."

He would eventually appear in or choreograph for nearly 40 films, as well as performing live and on television. Here is Dean in a famous clip from "Buck Privates."

Dean also appears in the movie that is known to all true lindy hoppers, "Hellzapoppin," dancing with Martha Raye.

Dean danced well into the 1980s. Nick Williams shares a clip of Dean teaching a private lesson to none other than Sylvia Sykes in 1981/82.

Finally, check out this clip of him social dancing to Billy Jean in 1982 in Anaheim. Can you imagine just being on the same dance floor as Dean? Still so smoooooth.

More about Dean Collins:

Hattip to Jim Silverman for reminding us about Dean's birthday!