Frank Veloz and Yolanda Casazza appeared on the cover of the 1939 Time magazine as the Greatest Dancing Couple. Both were Christian Scientists at a time when Christian Science was at its height. Yolanda had a natural, humble quietness when she was off-stage. She normally preferred plain day clothes because she said that pretty clothes were for performance. On stage, Yolanda wore delicate and exquisite dresses which were designed by Frank. She carried a knitted bag with her wherever she went. It contained two books – the Bible and Science and Health. In this way, her faith was always close at hand. Yolanda’s strong faith helped her with the normal demands of life and the heavy demands of being constantly in the limelight. The daily reminder of simple, powerful spiritual principles was a protection from the common pitfalls of fame, such as addiction, depression, mental instability, and an ego gone crazy.
Frank and Yolanda’s four children were called the million-dollar babies. That was how much money each baby cost their parents in lost revenue when Yolanda was pregnant and then attending to a newborn. It was a lot of money in the 1940’s. However, money is no protection from the difficulties of life and sadness was no stranger to the Veloz family. Two of the children died in tragic circumstances in their twenties. Also, after several decades of an outstanding partnership, Frank and Yolanda’s schools started closing and their marriage ended. Frank married another dancer, twenty years younger than himself. An entity in her own right, she is still young and dancing today in her mid- nineties. In spite of the tides of life, things of beauty and substance remain. Death cannot take away the reality of another’s ongoing existence. Divorce cannot annihilate all that is truly good in the forging of a human bond.
When Yolanda and Frank danced, they would prepare themselves for the show by cultivating a genuine sense of love and connection with their audience.
Frank would walk up and down smoking a cigarette while Yolanda would do a couple of bends to each side. But the real warm-up was psychological. About five minutes before the performance, the area would be cleared so they could concentrate. She would think about dancing with each man, he would think about dancing with each woman in the audience and they revved themselves up with love. When they went on stage this love permeated them and the audience. Elizabeth Talbot-Martin and William Teaford.
Yolanda was very instinctive when she entered her performing persona on stage. She intuitively and fully gave herself over to that which was much bigger than her normal self. She returned to the other smaller self after performing. Her son said of her,
Indeed, my mother did most resoundingly not claim the slightest authorship of what she more or less automatically did. She merely gave herself unto an enigmatic power that was infinitely greater in all matters than any individual ego could hope to master, simply letting IT instead master her. Guy Veloz
Frank and Yolanda, like most dance couples, often fought when practising. Much later, Frank confided to his son that it was difficult to get his wife to practice at all. Nevertheless, when they were performing, all that melted into nothingness.
It was total co-operation; not competition. Technique was forgotten under a spell of dreamtime. Guy Veloz
Frank told his son that in spite of the frustrations of practice, he always remained in awe of the spontaneous way in which Yolanda danced which complimented his more linear way of thinking. Frank and Yolanda were self-taught dancers as neither of them were able to afford dance lessons when they were younger.
As their show visited different venues, Frank and Yolanda would sometimes have to deal with inadequate orchestras. Although Frank would tend to get angry, Yolanda had made an agreement with him that they were to see their orchestras as wonderful. In true Christian Science fashion, choosing to see only the essential, perfect, spiritual nature of all things, she would smile at them with appreciation. Suddenly, and almost miraculously, the less-than-fabulous orchestras would have a tendency to become their much better and more fabulous selves.
Frank, for his part, saw the audience as one single, breathing entity which it was his mission to unite. He would ask the audience if they wished to help out in his and Yolanda’s next routine. The orchestra would stop. The audience would then sing, hum, or whistle the melody of songs known to just about everyone at the time. The lights would be turned down low and Frank and Yolanda would float majestically to the human-voice orchestra, while the hugely enthusiastic audience would be overcome with a feeling of inclusive love.