May 2013: Frankie Manning Month and we turn 3!

Ok, so given that we have 2 bank holidays in May (when we don’t hold classes) there are actually only two Sundays this month for us Nottingham Lindy Hop Sneintonites to do anything at all but we’re about to make the most out of them.

We have a birthday to celebrate, we’ve been going for just over 3 years now, plus the whole Lindy world is gearing up in May to commemorate Frankie Manning, original Lindy Hop dancer, choreographer and innovator on what would have been his 99th Birthday therefore we think it’s time to party.

Frankie Manning, Ambassador of Lindy Hop, 1914-2009

Legendary Lindy Hopper Frankie Manning was born May 26th, 1914.  Though Frankie passed away just one month before his 95th birthday on April 27, 2009, we continue to celebrate the date of his birthday annually and on a global basis.

You can learn more about the great man at the following links.  The first is a brief history of his life and the second links to films and videos featuring Frankie from the 1930s/40s to his teaching years to documentaries about the man and the era.  I can’t recommend trawling through these enough.

Frankie’s Bio                          Frankie’s Video Collection 🙂

Sunday 12 May – Learn Frankie99 Choreography

Tomorrow in classes we’ll be having a complete focus on learning a little bit of choreography that has been put together by two of his students, Ewa Burak and Lennart Westerlund.  It’s a routine that references some of Frankie’s signature steps that he used to teach and Lindy hoppers around the world have been invited to learn it,  perform and post a video of this dance, in a global tribute to Frankie!

All 3 classes will be focussed on learning different bits of the routine rather than rigidly following the usual levels format and all students are welcome to attend as many sessions as they’ve got the energy for. £4 for one hour, £5 for the session.

Have a look on line here to view the choreography, there’s also a written list of instructions and a table view too.  http://frankiesbirthday.com/get-involved/99choreo/

Sunday 19 May – Our 3rd and Frankie’s 99th Birthday Tea Dance & Filming

Next weekend we’re planning a small tea party at our regular venue, The Old School Hall, Windmill Lane, Sneinton, NG2 4QB open to all lindy hoppers.

Starting from about 6pm, in the place of the usual ‘fun taster class’ we do at our parties, we’ll be running through the Frankie99 choreography again.  This is to refresh people’s memories, add in a bit of clapping and cheering for those of us who either haven’t learned it or completely forgotten it and then we hope to do a little bit of simple filming to record our efforts; weather permitting this may well be outside.

The other Nottingham groups have all been learning this choreography too (and anyone with any experience can probably pick it up from the online video) so we’re hoping to get a good group together on the day.   I think there are also some other filming sessions being organised by the other groups, which you’d also be able to go to, and once we’ve all done we hope to add together all these sessions and fingers crossed we’ll have a fabulous Nottm video that we share with the world.  Here are a couple of the ones that have already been posted.

Inside the hall we’ll be playing some great tunes and we’ll again be asking everyone to bring some food to share in our big fuddle, cakes, savouries, anything is welcome and we’ll dance, eat, chat and dance some more all the way through till 10pm.  £4 if you bring food, £5 if you don’t.

So I look forward to seeing you all in Sneinton, on either or both of the next two Sundays, for some fabulous Lindy Hop, Frankie inspired fun and dancing,  These are definitely going to be a more the merrier type events, so please come and join us.

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