|Posted by jocbloy on May 14, 2016 at 12:55 AM|
May is Frankie Manning Month and swing's 21st birthday in Australia.
Aug 2015 was the 20th Anniversary of Swing in Australia, so in Aug 2016 swing and Lindy Hop comes of age, turning 21 in Australia.
As May is Frankie Manning month, where swing dancers all over the world remember the father of swing, it’s an appropriate time to remember and pay tribute to the father of swing dancing. It’s also 2 years since the Frankie 100 lindy chorus tribute was danced all over the world, including a performance at the Flipside dance.
So why not brush up on the Lindy Chorus routine, or get along to a dance class and learn it so you can find out why it’s been so popular. If enough people learn it we will be able to organize some performances in Aug for the 21st birthday celebrations.
Adrian will be teaching the Lindy Chorus on Mon nights 7-10pm at the Whitehorse Club, starting on Mon 16th May.
Win a DVD
Adrian has some copies of the original dvd of Frankie teaching the Lindy Chorus in Canberra in 1997 so if you'd like to enter the draw to win a copy please email him on
with "Lindy Chorus competition" in the subject line and your full name and contact details.
See below for the Lindy Chorus routine and a link to the Flipside performance in May 2014.
A bit about Frankie Manning.
Frankie Manning was one of the founding fathers of lindy hop in the 1930's, performing regularly with Whitey's Lindy Hoppers at the famous Savoy Ballroom until lindy hop died out in 1955 as rock and roll took over in popularity. He appeared in many movies in the 1940’s dancing the lindy hop, the most famous being Hellzapoppin, and the Marx brothers Day at the races. The revival of lindy hop in 1986 was started in the US by Erin Stevens and Steven Mitchell who encouraged Frankie Manning to show them how to dance lindy hop. After 30 years in retirement, aged in his 70's, Frankie then started teaching Lindy Hop all over the world, taking the dance to a new younger generation.
Frankie came to Melbourne to perform in 1939, then returned to Canberra in 1997 to teach the lindy chorus. He was then aged 83 and still a brilliant dancer. Many Melbourne dancers made the trip to Canberra to learn from him. Frankie again came to Melbourne in 2002 to teach in Swing Patrol workshops at the age of 88. Many current dancers remember his workshop at Moorabbin Town Hall. Frankie died in 2009 just weeks before Frankie’s 95 birthday festival that was held as a tribute to the man who was loved by swing dancers all over the world. Frankie modestly claimed, “I’m not interested in fame and glory. It’s just that I would like others to know what a happy dance this is.”
Swing in Australia.
Swing was revived in Australia in 1995 by Rob Bloom who was Australia’s first Lindy Hop teacher. Rob learnt to dance in London in 1991 and after 4 years with the UK’s best swing dancers he moved to Australia in 1994. Rob launched the Lindy Hop revival in Australia, running the first lindy hop workshop in Sydney in July 1995.
In August 1995, dance teacher Adrian Spadaro, from Red Hot Rockers, invited Rob to Melbourne to teach a Lindy Hop workshop, kicking off Melbourne’s swing revival. Pat Noakes started Lindy Hop Melbourne/ Swing Central teaching Lindy Hop in Melbourne in 1997, and Claudia Funder and Scott Cupit founded Swing Patrol in 1998.
Click on the link below to see old B & W clip, “The Outline of Jitterbug history”, a short movie from 1940. Towards the end you can see Frankie Manning and the Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, the same group who did the dancing in the movie Hellzapoppin. Frankie Manning and Ann Johnson are the fourth couple.
Here's the routine for those who want to practice it, or get along to either the Whitehorse Club on Mon nights, or Top Cats in Aug to learn this classic routine which is danced all over the world.
LINDY CHORUS ROUTINE
2 x lindy turns
1 lindy circle
Lady double turn
2 x side by side Charleston
4 x side walk tandems
Stomp, left hand spin out
4 hand to hand charlestons
Step around with hands up for 4
Hop around each other & kick ups
cross over, turn around and unwind.
https://youtu.be/WArlySj_eio Lindy Chorus Danced at Flipside in Melbourne in 2014