• 312 pages
  • 6.125 x 9.25
  • 36 halftones
  • Price: $25.95
  • EAN: 9781592135646
  • Publication: Oct 2008
  • Price: $66.50
  • EAN: 9781592135639
  • Publication: May 2007

Frankie Manning

Ambassador of Lindy Hop

Cynthia R Millman

In the early days of swing dancing, Frankie Manning stood out for his moves and his innovative routines; he created the "air step" in the Lindy hop, a dance that took the U.S. and then the world by storm. In this fascinating autobiography, the choreographer and Tony Award winner (Black and Blue) Frankie Manning recalls how his first years of dancing as a teenager at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom led to his becoming chief choreographer and a lead dancer for "Whitey's Lindy Hoppers," a group that appeared on Broadway, in Hollywood musicals, and on stages around the globe. Manning brings the Swing Era vividly back to life with his recollections of the crowded ballrooms, and of Lindy hoppers trying to outdo each other in spectacular performances. His memories of the many headliners and film stars, as well as uncelebrated dancers with whom he shared the stage, create a unique portrait of an era in which African American performers enjoyed the spotlight if not a star's prerogatives and salary.

With collaborator Cynthia Millman, Manning traces the evolution of swing dancing from its early days in Harlem through the post-World War II period, until it was eclipsed by rock 'n' roll and then disco. When swing made a comeback, Manning's 30-year hiatus ended. He has been performing, choreographing, and teaching ever since.


"On behalf of all of the Hoofer’s, we thank you and salute you for every moment of truth, love and dedication translated to us all through your art form, your dance. Thank you Frankie Manning. I Love You!"
Savion Glover

"A poet of the dance floor. This book is a must read for anyone who loves the dance, amateur or professional. What a life he has lived, and thank God he remembers it all!"
Bette Midler, student and fan

"Dance writer and swing dancer Millman conducted extensive interviews with Manning for a vivid account of his career... the first-person accounts of Manning's life capture his vibrancy, humor and charm...this vivid memoir by one of swing dancing's innovators and stars is a must for lovers of dance, jazz and African-American history."
Publishers Weekly

"Sit down with the book and you will feel you’ve sat down with Frankie in person to hear the wonderful story of his life."
Swing Dancer Magazine

"Frankie Manning's story, a labor of love and commitment, makes a magnificent contribution to the history of the Lindy Hop from its beginnings in the Savoy Ballroom to its resurgence as an internationally celebrated jazz artform.... (E)ssential reading for anyone interested in this rich period in the development of America's indigenous dance and music."
Dance Magazine

Visit Frankie Manning's website at www.frankiemanning.com.

Read an interview with Cynthia Millman, co-author of Frankie Manning on. www.swingjazzblues.com blog.

About the Author(s)

Lindy hopper Frankie Manning (1914-2009) 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.

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.