Episode #64 | Frankie Manning | Legendary Swing Dancer

Frankie Manning was an African American dancer, instructor and choreographer known for his innovative and popular swing dance moves, especially the “air step” in the Lindy hop. He won a 1989 Tony Award for choreography in “Black and Blue,” was honored by the National Endowment for the Arts with a National Heritage Fellowship, and served as a consultant for and danced in Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” and Debby Allen’s “Stompin’ at the Savoy.” Manning passed away in April 2009.

Cynthia Millman taught dance and performed for over 25-years, including 5 years with the “Big Apple Lindy Hoppers.” She studied and partnered with Frankie and lectured with him on the history of the Lindy.

The book, Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop, traces the evolution of swing dancing from its early days in Harlem through the post-WWII period, until it was eclipsed by Rock n’ Roll and then disco.