Lindy hopper Frankie Manning won a 1989 Tony Award for his 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 Debbie Allen's Stompin' at the Savoy. Frankie's choreographic contributions to the lindy, his professional dance career with Whitey's Lindy Hoppers and the Congaroo Dancers, and his vital role in the swing dance revival have been widely chronicled in the news media, books, and documentaries, including Ken Burns's Jazz and an ABC News 20/20 profile. Now in his nineties, Frankie travels the world teaching the Lindy hop and sharing his riveting memories of dancing through the swing era. Cynthia R. Millman taught dance and performed for over twenty-five years, including five years with the Big Apple Lindy Hoppers. She has studied and partnered with Frankie, and lectures with him on the history of the Lindy. A librarian at The Town School in Manhattan, Cynthia has contributed articles to Dance Magazine and The International Encyclopedia of Dance, and has served as a dance consultant on several documentaries.
Acknowledgments / i Foreword: Mercedes Ellington Frankie Manning: An Appreciation by Cynthia R. Millman / xi Prologue: Too Stiff / 1 PART ONE: EARLY STEPS (1914-circa 1933) Chapter 1. Jazz Baby / 5 Chapter 2. Early Ballroom Forays / 21 PART TWO: SAVOY DANCER (circa 1933-1936) Chapter 3. To the Savoy at Last / 47 Chapter 4. Whitey, Shorty, and Stretch / 72 Chapter 5. Win Win / 85 Chapter 6. Up in the Air She Goes / 102 PART THREE: WHITEY'S LINDY HOPPERS (1936-1943) Chapter 7. Going Pro / 129 Chapter 8. Big Time at the Cotton Club / 149 Chapter 9. A Big Apple for Whitey / 174 Chapter 10. On Broadway and In the Movies / 213 Chapter 11. Stranded in Rio / 246 PART FOUR: WAR AND HOME (1943-1984) Chapter 12. Dancer Interrupted / 259 Chapter 13. The Congaroo Dancers and a Day Job / 275 PART FIVE: SECOND ACT (1984-present) Chapter 14. Revival / APPENDIXES A. Frankie Manning Timeline / 347 B. Biographies of Lindy Hoppers C. List of Works Cited or Consulted / C. Frankie's List of Swing Dance on Film/TV D. Swing Dance Resources E. Swing Dance Organizations and Events Index