A part of the monthly swing and blues dancing series, Vinnie's Jump and Jive on Main Street is hosting a Swing and Blues tribute dance in honor of the legendary Frankie Manning this Saturday, May 26th from 8:30 to 12:00, with a free beginner lesson at 7:30. The beginner lesson in Lindy-hop will be taught by Dave Parry and Tracy Scott followed by DJ Wil Reed playing Frankie Manning favorites. Then we'll cool it down with some late-night blues 11pm-12am.
|Frankie Manning. Photo Courtesy of Frankie Manning Tribute Weekend, Toronto.|
This Saturday will mark the 98th Anniversary of the birth of Frankie Manning - the ambassador of Lindy-Hop. Manning was born in Jacksonville Florida and moved to Harlem, NY at the age of three. He started dancing at a very early age, and eventually became a dancer in the elite and prestigious "Kat's Corner," a corner of the dance floor at Savoy's Ballroom in which impromptu exhibitions and competitions took place. During a dance contest in 1935, Manning and his partner performed the first air step (also known as an aerial) in a swing dance competition against George "Shorty" Snowden and his partner Big Bea, at the Savoy Ballroom. The air step he performed was a "back to back roll" and went flawlessly, astonishing the over 2,000 audience members watching.
In 2009 shortly before his death, Manning had been planning to celebrate his 95th birthday in NYC at a special Lindy Hop dance over Memorial Day weekend. The event, commonly referred to as Frankie Fest or Frankie 95, proceeded without him but in his memory and gathered dancers and instructors from around the world. Now, in his memory swing dancers all around the world celebrate Manning's legacy with swing dance celebrations every Memorial day.