Monday, April 27, 2009

Frankie Manning, May 26, 1914 - April 27, 2009 RIP

Frankie Manning was one of the original creators of the Lindy Hop. He was the first dancer to perform an "aerial", like those dancers in the Gap commercial that supposedly got everyone interested in swing dancing again. He continued to travel and teach into his 90s, and had an impact on an unimaginable number of people, including myself.

I spent a good portion of my 20s dancing in the SF area and also traveling around the country on weekends to Lindy Exchanges, where dancers from around the country all meet up in one city for an insane weekend of dancing and partying. I attended a Frankie Manning workshop in 2002, and got to meet Frankie there. Think of all the people who not only learned from him directly, but learned from the teachers who learned from him, and so on. That is probably tens of thousands of people who will end up making enduring friendships, relationships, families, etc., because of the dedication he had to the dance and teaching it to anyone who wanted to learn.

If you haven't read his book, check it out. It's a great history of dancing and big bands from an earlier generation. Frankie, you changed our lives in an amazing way and you will be missed!


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