Farewell, Frankie Manning

I learned that Frankie Manning died this week. The godfather of Lindy Hop. LA Times obit, NY Times Obit. He signed my dance shoes at a dance camp at Catalina (see foto below).

Frankie “Musclehead” Manning, a Harlem dancer and Tony Award-winning choreographer widely celebrated as one of the pioneers of the Lindy Hop, a breathlessly acrobatic swing dance style of the 1930s and ’40s, died April 27 at New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital of pneumonia. He was 94.

The effortlessly nimble Manning was a star attraction of Harlem’s Savoy ballroom and brought to swing dance a flair for the theatrical that helped catapult the Lindy Hop from ballrooms to stage and screen, said Cynthia Millman, who co-wrote Manning’s self-titled 2007 memoir.

Frankie Manning (age 87) tells us all a bunch of stories of his early dancing days in the 1930s in Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom.

Woo Hoo!! Here, I get a shoe-sign! Now my red dance shoes have Frankie’s signature on ’em! 😀 😀 😀

Swing Camp, Catalina, June 2001: One Two, which has a group Shim Sham. (See YouTube of Frankie leading a group in the Shim Sham)

Direct YouTube link. Two other YouTube movies: Frankie in 2006 and Frankie at Lindyfest, 2008

Another YouTube movie link

“It was about 1927, and I was about 13 years old…”