This master profile has been added by I AM LINDY HOP in recognition
of the inspiration Dean Collins has had on many of today's Lindy Hoppers
Hollywood, CA, United States
Columbus, OH, United States
Dean Collins is inspiration to many of today's Lindy Hoppers with both his smooth style and his flying style. Many of the old clips coming out of Hollywood that today's dancers model themselves after had Dean's touch whether he acted as choreographer, dancer, or teacher.
Dean Collins was born in Columbus, Ohio, on May 29, 1917 and grew up in Newark, New Jersey.
Dean started dancing at the age of 14 with his older sisters. Dean's curiosity led him to Harlem and later to New Orleans to discover Lindy Hop. Dean eventually found himself in Los Angeles working as a janitor for a diner. The diner's owner also owned many nightclubs and soon Dean was back on the dance floor making a name for himself.
It was during this time that Dean, still going by his Jewish name and birth name Saul Cohen, happened upon a lost wallet that contained the name Dean Collins. Thinking his own Jewish name might hinder his employment opportunities, he adopted the name Dean Collins and used it throughout his professional dance career.
Throughout the 1930's and 1940's, Dean's study of Lindy Hop in his earlier years paid off as he is credited by many for bringing Lindy Hop from the Savoy Ballroom to Hollywood. He gave Lindy Hop widespread exposure on the big screen and is credited as a dancer and choreographer in many movies.
In doing so, Dean also became one of Lindy Hop's first teachers. Where many of the Lindy Hoppers from the Savoy were dancers and performers at heart, Dean soon found love as a teacher and taught many of Hollywood's stars how to dance leading the way in Lindy Hop instruction.
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