Introducing Frankie Manning ( 1914 – 2009 )
Today, we feature Part 6 of the Lindy Love Letter from Sing . (The first letter was written in May 2012. Read Part 1 here )
In this edition, I have Bee to share about Frankie Manning.
INTRODUCING FRANKIE MANNING
1. What were your first impressions of Frankie?
I am Bee, a homemaker in my late thirties. It’s been 12 years since I first stepped into my first lindy hop class at Jitterbugs Swingapore and I was hooked! It’s such a happy and fun dance.
A few months later, I attended my first swing camp at SEA Jam 2002, it’s here I met the legendary Mr. Frankie Manning.
Bee with Frankie Manning
On the first night of the camp, Frankie was sitting down resting most of the time, I understood as it’s normal for an 88 years old man. But boy was I wrong when I saw him dance with my teacher Sing Lim. Frankie was full of joy, energy and he made the follow shine. I was awestruck.
Bee at Herrang Dance Camp 2012
Bee with Sing at Herrang Dance Camp 2012
2. What do you like about Frankie’s dancing ?
Over the next couple of days, I attended Frankie’s classes for the first time. He’s a cheerful teacher and his classes were really fun. I learned about respect, connection, many cool Frankie’s moves and of course the shim sham.
In the days that follows, I’ve watched many lindy videos of Frankie’s dancing. The most famous one is definitely the Hellzapoppin in 1941 which Frankie choreographed and danced in. The speed was crazy fast, the dancers and Frankie were all dancing with so much energy, clean and great air steps. My jaw almost fell out when I first saw that clip.
Bee dancing at SEA Jam 2012
I couldn’t remember if I was brave enough to ask Frankie for a dance during my first SEA Jam. But nonetheless I got to dance with Frankie a few times during the many times Frankie came to SEA Jam to teach. Frankie was a really good lead, taking care of the follow and the dances were really fun although the moves weren’t as big like when he’s younger. Anyway,I was practically in heaven after every dance with Frankie.
Bee with Chazz Young ( Frankie’s Son )
Bee with Singapore dancers at CSI 2013 – Korea
3. What do you think is his legacy and what can we still learn from Frankie ?
While Frankie’s alive, he had gave his life travelling around the world teaching and spreading his love for lindy Hop. I’m really honoured to have met and learned from this inspiring teacher in Singapore. Frankie has brought the spirit of lindy and love to our community here which we should continue to uphold. We can still learn from Frankie that it is never too late, never too old to do anything. Be passionate on the things you love. Let the spirit of lindy continue to burn bright within us.
Bee with Singapore dancers at Frankie 95
Thank you for inspiring me, dear Frankie.
I love and miss you much.
Back to Part 5.
Write in to firstname.lastname@example.org to share your memories of Frankie.