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Radio Intersection

Frankie Manning: Lindy Hop Pioneer

10/26/2006

Lindy Hop Pioneer Frankie Manning danced his way through the burgeoning New York ballrooms of the 1930s, wowing audiences with his moves. He toured throughout the 1930s, spreading the Lindy Hop across the world on stage and screen. While dancing in London in 1937, Manning gave a command performance for King George VI. By 1943 a Life magazine cover story proclaimed the Lindy Hop as "America's national dance" and "this country's only native and original dance form" except for tap dancing. Despite a long hiatus from the dance scene, Manning was wooed back in the mid 1980s to teach a new generation of dancers. He continues to make unique innovations in the world of dance as teacher, choreographer and performer. Among his many accolades, he received a Tony Award for best choreography in the Broadway hit musical Black and Blue, and he was involved in the two- part TV film on American social dancing called Gotta Dance! Frankie Manning currently serves on the board of directors of the New York Swing Society where he helps the organization carry on its mission of preserving swing dancing to live Big Band Music. The 92-year-old Manning visited Seattle to teach and perform in the Century Ballroom's Masters series. He spoke with Amanda Wilde in the KUOW studios in August, 2006.


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