I’m off on my next big adventure to NYC tomorrow for the big Swing Dancing (Lindy Hop) event Frankie 100-Celebrating the life and legacy of Frankie Manning. I’m all packed, printed off my schedule and danced a few solo Charleston steps in the kitchen..I’m ready to dance my feet off!
While I’m off dancing I thought I would share some vintage Lindy Hop clips to get you in the spirit as well. Please enjoy and if you are interested in seeing the event live,check out the dance website “Yehoodi” from Friday-Monday.
Now in the words of Frankie Manning “One, two, you know what to do”
Many people consider Hellzapoppin’ the greatest single Lindy Hop performance of all time. Frankie was in charge of putting the routine together, and mentioned in his autobiography that the dancers worked extra hard for this performance, practicing even longer hours than usual to perfect it. His autobiography also has a long section of anecdotes regarding the process and filming. First couple: William Downes and Francis “Mickey” Jones; 2nd, Norma Miller and Billy Ricker; 3rd, Al Minns and Willamae Ricker; 4th, Frankie Manning and Ann Johnson. Dean Collins also does a dance in this film to the song “Watch the Birdie.” (The sequences, however, were shot on different days, and arguably the two most significant figures in Lindy Hop Leading — Frankie Manning and Dean Collins — never met.) (Source)
Frankie Manning Dancing at the Savoy Ballroom-1930s
It’s very rare for us to have social dancing footage of the original dancers in the original swing era. We are lucky to have a few brief seconds of Frankie Manning dancing with a partner in a crowded Savoy ballroom from what is probably the late 1930s. Whether or not its social dancing is hard to say, as he very well might have realized there was a camera filming him, and changed his dancing because of it. Still, though, it’s great to see a young Frankie Manning in a suit, in his element. It’s only a few tiny seconds, but at least we have that much (Source).
Jitterbug History featuring Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers-1942
This short was filmed in 1940 (though not released till 1942) and near the end you can see the Whitey’s. It’s also the same group of dancers who did Hellzapoppin’. Note that this clip has extremely slow dancing compared to the other Whitey’s Lindy Hop performance footage. William Downes and Mickey Jones first, Norma Miller and Billy Ricker second, Willamae Ricker and Al Minns third, and Frankie Manning and Ann Johnson forth (Source).
Buck Privates with Dean Collins and Jewel McGowan-1941
Jean Veloz (Jeanne Phelps) is featured here dancing with Don Gallager & Lenny Smith in this delightful number “One Girl and Two Boys,” sung by Marilyn Maxwell with Kay Kyser’s band.
Jimmy Dorsey playing One O’Clock Jump. Dancers – Charles “Chuck/Gossomer” Saggau, Arthur Walsh, Lenny Smith, Kay Smith, Jeanne Phelps Veloz, Irene Thomas.
Don’t Knock the Rock-1956 (As a fan of 1950s Rock n Roll, this clip is a real favorite of mine)
Band: Bill Haley & His Comets with a slew of Los Angeles swing dancers, including: Gil & Nikki Brady, Freda Angela Wyckoff, Lenny Smith, and Joe Lanza.
Have a great week and weekend! Keep on Swinging!