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Luigi  

Claude Conyers

[Eugene Louis Facciuto]

(b Steubenville, OH, March 20, 1925; d New York, April 7, 2015). American jazz dance innovator and teacher. Coached by his brother, he developed an act with singing, dancing, and acrobatic tricks that made him a frequent winner of talent shows and that led to his first jobs as vaudeville emcee and band singer. After military service in World War II, he went to Hollywood seeking a career in movie musicals, but his plans were disrupted when a car accident left him partially paralyzed. He developed a series of exercises that enabled him to recover from his injuries and to begin studying ballet and tap dance. Despite initial limitations, he had an eight-year career in which he appeared in more than forty musical films, working with many leading choreographers and dancers of the late 1940s and early 1950s. His importance lies not in his performing career, however, but in the exercise routine he created for his rehabilitation, which became the first complete technique for learning jazz dance. In ...