Who is Frankie Manning?

89 year old man at a party surprises everybody!


See him here in action at age 89 during a Jam circle in Herrang, Sweden at the Herrang Dance Camp dancing with Diane van Haaren.  Many wished they could dance like that as a 20 year old. World Lindy Hop Day is on May 26th on Frankie Manning's birthday. How appropriate a day to celebrate the Happy Dance, an American Original Dance now popular around the world with dancers of all ages. Just type in "Lindy Hop" on youtube and be ready to spend some time to see all that is happening today! 

Who is Frankie Manning? Words can not even describe this man. Many would call him a star, a legendary Lindy Hopper, ambassador of the Lindy Hop, a teacher, a great story teller who had you sitting on the edge of yourseat, a role model, a humble man, an inclusive person who would put his friends first. Frankie knew how to have a good time. Life is a party and you are invited. To many dancers around the world he was a personal friend. He was a father figure or an inspirational uncle you always wanted. He has touched so many lives with his teachings that carried way beyond the dance. His actions and outlook on life were things you just wanted to emulate. You were family.

A great smile, and a infectious warm laugh that would follow, would welcome you as he would call out your name. A great hug would follow as he would check in with you to see how you were doing. This was Frankie Manning

He continues to inspire generations of dancers with his dance innovations - words - demeanor - his way with friends and his approach on life! If you had a chance to meet him or learn from him, you would know what I am talking about. On May 22-26th 2014, 5 years after his death over 2500 dancers from over 47 counties came together at a sold out event in NYC "Frankie 100", to celebrate his 100th birthday (which sold out in less then 10 minutes in some countries and 3 minutes in other countries). Who can have an impact like this all around the world, even 5 years after his passing?

He was one of the greatest innovators of the Lindy Hop as a dancer and chief choreographer for a group called "Whitey's Lindy Hoppers" in the mid 1930's and early 1940's as he introduced the dance to many around the world including Hollywood. He appeared in numerous movies and worked for many years with many of the greats music stars of that era. Rediscovered in the early 1980's he came out of retirement and reignited several new generations of Lindy Hoppers around the world until he passed in 2009 just short of his 95th birthday. His smile and impact on all of us will live on. Happy birthday Frankie.

Thanks Frankie for the many wonderful years and long weekends we have been able to spend with you!

In Frankie's spirit.
Memories by Rob and Diane van Haaren

Greatest Performance Lindy Hop Scene in Film - Hellzapoppin' 1941 with Whitey's Lindy Hoppers and Frankie Manning

Caught on Film with some of the legendary Whitey's Lindy Hoppers ending with Frankie Manning (high quality) - Movie: Hellzapoppin 1941 (Norma Miller gets tossed around in a circle and has a Chefs hat on)

Frankie Manning in the Documentary Swingen Anfaller, at Herrang Dance Camp in Sweden

Great other resources to explore:



Search for Frankie Manning on YOUTUBE
to find great inteviews and specials on him