|Born||Yvonne Helen Karnes
February 7, 1927
Houston, Texas, United States
|Died||September 16, 2013
Simi Valley, California, United States
|Occupation||Film choreographer, dancer, and dance instructor|
|Former groups||Houston Jazz Ballet Company
Swayze School of Dance
Yvonne Helen "Patsy" Swayze (February 7, 1927 – September 16, 2013) was an American film choreographer, dancer, and dance instructor. Her credits included the choreography for Urban Cowboy, Liar's Moon and Hope Floats. Her five children included the actors Patrick Swayze and Don Swayze. She has been credited with having trained Patrick in dance, leading to his starring role in Dirty Dancing in 1987.
Life and career
A native of Houston, Texas, and surrounding Harris County, Swayze was born Yvonne Helen Karnes (nicknamed Patsy) on February 7, 1927. Swayze was the daughter of Gladys Mae (Snell) and Victor Elliott Karnes. She married Jesse Wayne Swayze (1925–1982), an engineering draftsman. The couple had five children. The family lived on Wakefield Street in the Garden Oaks neighborhood of Houston. They later moved to another home on Del Norte Street.
Swayze founded the Houston Jazz Ballet Company and served as the ballet's director. She also opened a Houston dance studio, the Swayze School of Dance. Her son, Patrick, met his future wife, film director and actress Lisa Niemi, while they were enrolled as her students at the Swayze School of Dance. (The couple married in 1975). In addition to her own dance studio, Swayze taught dance and choreography at the University of Houston for eighteen years. Patsy Swayze's former students included Debbie Allen, Randy Quaid, Jaclyn Smith and Tommy Tune.
Patsy Swayze transitioned to film by choreographing her first movie, Urban Cowboy, starring John Travolta and Debra Winger. The success of Urban Cowboy essentially launched her career as a film choreographer. In 1980, Patsy Swayze moved from Houston to southern California. She choreographed numerous films over the next three decades including Liar's Moon in 1982 and Hope Floats, directed by Forest Whitaker, in 1998. She teamed with her daughter-in-law, director Lisa Niemi, to choreograph the 2003 film, One Last Dance, which starred Niemi, Patrick Swayze and George de la Peña.
- Kelly, Devin (2013-09-18). "Patsy Swayze, mother of Patrick Swayze, dies at 86". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
- Hlavaty, Craig (2013-09-17). "Patrick Swayze's Houston-born mother dies after stroke". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
- Hlavaty, Craig (2013-09-17). "Longtime Houston dance instructor, choreographer Patsy Swayze dies at 86". KHOU. Retrieved 2013-10-06.