May Classes – Shim Sham, Frankie 6s, Frankie Manning, World Lindy Hop Day

Woo! Hoo! It’s the first of our two May class days today! I hope you had a great time over the bank holidays but I’m so looking forward to getting back to classes for a couple of weeks. Hope to see you all later 👋

F1 class will be doing something a little different in May by exploring ‘Frankie’s’ Shim Sham – an essential must know for all Lindy Hoppers (suitable for beginners)

F2 class will be focussing on Frankie’s 6’s (anyone with a grasp of triple step basic footwork and connection will be fine here)

Frankie Manning

For those new to swing dancing, Frankie is Frankie Manning ‘The Ambassador of Lindy Hop’. There’s lots to learn about Frankie – I’ll tell you more in classes and you can also get googling and YouTubing – but I love this blog post from Bobby White at SwungOver written for Frankie100 it captures so much about the man as well as the dancer and teacher:

There’s also lots to learn about so many other important original Lindy Hop dancers and swing era artists and musicians too. Here are few you can start to explore here (also on SwungOver):

World Lindy Hop Day

26th May every year is now World Lindy Hop Day – Frankie’s birthday – Late Night Lindy (Nottingham’s monthly swing dance social night at Bunkers Hill) will be celebrating on this day. “You know what to do”

The Shim Sham

This is a routine done mostly solo which comes from tap dance and there are many variations. The version we Lindy Hoppers learn as our foundation is Frankie’s version – a soft shoe adaption using basic jazz steps you can incorporate into your partner dancing or dance alone or in a group. It’s such a wonderful feeling to dance it together on a full dance floor and it’s danced the world over, wherever you find Lindy Hoppers.

These are two clips from Frankie 95 – the event held in New York to celebrate Frankie’s 95th birthday, which I was very privileged to attend (you can spot me in the Central Park version if you have good eyes). Sadly Frankie passed away just a few weeks before the event. The Central Park Shim Sham was held after a Second Line parade from Frankie’s memorial service. It was a very moving experience. I hope you can all see the joy and sense of community 🥰

And here is Frankie (in his 80s) with Erin Steven’s teaching us himself (for clips of young Frankie go to the blog link above (20 dancers…) 🙏

Looking forward to seeing you all later and hopefully next week too.

Love Lisa x

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