Initially, José de Udaeta studied classical dance in Barcelona with Juan Magriña. Later he took Spanish dance lessons in Madrid with Francisca Gonzalez "La Quica" and with Regia Ortega, complemented by tuition in the Escuela Bolera style with the Pericet siblings and Flamenco technique with Juan Sanchez "El Estampio".
His first fixed appointment as a solo dancer and choreographer was with the opera houses in Madrid from 1945 to 1949.
In 1948 in Geneva José de Udaeta started his international career together with the Swiss dancer Susanne Audeoud.
As "Susana y Jose" they become household names in Europe and overseas over a timespan of 22 years, showing their audiences the wide variety of Spanish dance in all its different stylistic forms. Their performances in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland become annual fixtures of their extensive world tours. In 1970 the legendary couple have their closing performance in Linz/Austria.
Together they choreographed numerous works, such as Orfeo Gitano (1951), Don Juan (1952), Encuentro Ritmico (1956), Romance de Carmen y José (1958), La Celestina (1966) und Capricho de Goya (1967). In these dance dramas, Susana y José became character dancers of the Spanish dance technique. Together with their pianist Antonio Robledo and the guitarist Paco Hernandez they created a microcosm of the Spanish culture.
In later years they toured with such famous flamenco artists as the singers Enrique Morente and Maria La Talegona and the guitarist Andrés Batista. The couple included in their performances authentic folk dances from the different regions of Spain, accompanied with the traditional playing of the castanets. The folkloric heritage of these dances was always preserved and they were shown in costumes that were inspired by the original national costumes.
In 1990 José de Udaeta returns to the stage as an actor, impersonating the following characters:
- the Commander in the ballet "Don Juan" by José Antonio and the Ballet National de España, Madrid;
- Herod in the staging of the opera "Salome" by Jochen Ulrich at the Teatro Liceo in Barcelona in 1991
- Don Quixote in the ballet of the same name staged by Patrice Bart at the Staatsopera Berlin in 1993.