- Why Celebrate? (below)
- Frankie Manning
- World Lindy Hop Day
- The Frankie Manning Foundation
- Past Birthday Celebrations
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. Read more about Frankie Manning here.
Since the 1980s, the Lindy Hop resurgence has swept the world. Frankie tirelessly spread his passion, love, and knowledge of Lindy Hop and his contagious enthusiasm became an inspiration to dancers everywhere. During his lifetime and beyond, Frankie’s birthday celebrations have become some of the most well attended and memorable Lindy Hop events ever. His 80th birthday party, “Can’t Top the Lindy Hop” was a catalyst for a whole new generation of dancers and helped elevate the stature of Lindy Hop to a new level around the globe! Frankie’s 85th was a memorable event at the Roseland, and his 90th was a Lindy cruise. His 95th birthday celebration became an epic memorial and an unmatched tribute of legend… until now!
The intention of Frankie 100 is to honor Frankie Manning and to further his legacy by spreading Lindy Hop with a joyful and inclusive spirit.
- Honour Frankie Manning’s memory
- Further his legacy
- Support and promote the dance and music that he loved
- Inaugurate of World Lindy Hop Day
This is a not for profit, volunteer event supported by the Frankie Manning Foundation and any revenue in excess of expenses generated by the event will be donated to the Foundation.
To celebrate and remember Frankie Manning, the Ambassador of Swing, by naming May 26th as World Lindy Hop Day, an annual festival that brings together communities from around the world to celebrate the roots and origins of Lindy Hop and Big Band Swing.
This is the first major birthday event since Frankie passed away. At the 95 event, Frankie had so recently passed away that the event had an obvious and clear with a focused spirit and message.
While he was alive, Frankie played a critical role as a “North Star” for the dance, not only as a creator and early innovator but also as the key figure and positive presence who led and shaped the revival.
Now that some time has passed, Frankie’s message and values may not be as clear and we want to reaffirm his positive spirit. This event has the potential to orient and shape the world scene now and for the next 5 years. By setting the right tone for this event, we can reaffirm Frankie’s key values.
With a new generation of dancers coming up who never met or saw Frankie this event provides a unique opportunity to bring the Lindy world together to reaffirm Frankie’s legacy, his values, and vision for the dance and to imbue current and future generations with Frankie’s spirit. Frankie 100 is also an opportunity to honor the history of the original swing era as well as the key players in the Lindy Hop revival.
There are many values that we would like to renew and to remind people to be more like Frankie like in the following ways.
- who is nice to everyone and says yes when asked to dance;
- who dances with joy;
- who is a great ambassador of Lindy Hop;
- who makes their partner feel like a queen/king;
- who loves lindy hop and big band era swing music;
- who is passionate about getting others involved;
- who is humble;
- who lifts people’s spirits and makes them happy;
- who knows how to rise above offenses and politics;
- who avoids controversy;
- who is careful about people’s feelings;
- who gives respect as much as they want to receive it;
- who is generous. No matter what Frankie was asked to do: perform, sign shoes, radio show, etc. etc. he was willing if it was good for lindy hop.
- who dances with the raw abandon of Lindy Hop – spirited and sometimes fast – as it was danced at the Savoy Ballroom.
- whose Lindy Hop is authentic, as in true to oneself and with connections to the roots of the dance.
WE RECOGNIZE THAT THE COST OF FRANKIE 100 IS HIGH AND, UNFORTUNATELY, MIGHT NOT BE AFFORDABLE FOR MANY PEOPLE. THE ORGANIZING TEAM FOR FRANKIE 100 IS BOTH THRILLED TO PUT ON AN EVENT OF THIS MAGNITUDE IN NEW YORK CITY, BUT ALSO REGRET THE EXCESSIVE COSTS RELATED TO VENUES AND EVENT PRODUCTION IN MANHATTAN.
PRODUCTION COSTS FOR A FESTIVAL OF THIS SIZE ARE VERY HIGH. NEW YORK IS ONE OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE CITIES IN THE WORLD TO PUT ON A LARGE SCALE EVENT. BUT NEW YORK CITY IS WHERE FRANKIE LIVED AND DANCED FOR NEARLY HIS ENTIRE LIFE, AND WHERE LINDY HOP WAS BORN.
WE FEEL STRONGLY THAT IF THERE WERE EVER A TIME TO DO IT RIGHT, IT’S NOW, IN HONOR OF THE ONE MAN WHO DESERVES IT, MR. FRANKIE MANNING. WE ARE COMMITTED TO PUTTING ON A WORLD CLASS EVENT IN FRANKIE’S HONOUR, IN THE PLACE THAT HE CALLED HOME.
WE ARE GRATEFUL TO THE GENEROSITY OF OUR EXTENSIVE STAFF AND CAST OF GUESTS, ALL OF WHOM ARE DONATING THEIR TIME AND TALENTS TO HELP MAKE THIS EVENT HAPPEN. BECAUSE OF THE HIGH COST OF PRODUCTION, NO LINDY HOPPERS ARE ACTUALLY BEING PAID TO WORK ON THIS EVENT. THE ONLY PAID ARTISTS OF ANY KIND AT FRANKIE 100 WILL BE THE MUSICIANS — ALL OTHER HUMAN RESOURCES HAVE BEEN DONATED. SO IN CONSIDERING WHAT LOOKS LIKE A HEFTY PRICE TAG OF US $70 PER DAY IN NEW YORK CITY, PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THIS IS ALL FOR FRANKIE AND HIS LEGACY. WE’RE SURE THAT YOU’LL FIND IT TO BE MONEY WELL SPENT.