Saturday, May 02, 2009

Oh man! Frankie Manning passed away a couple of days ago, just shy of his 95th birthday. I know no one lives forever, but Frankie just seemed to be the kind of guy you couldn't imagine ever stopping, if you know what I mean.

I've been incredibly fortunate and have heard him speak on two occasions. The first time was at a swing dance camp in Gloucestershire a few years ago where I shook his hand and went away thinking that I'd never wash my hands ever again because they'd been touched by Frankie. The other was at the National Library in Singapore when he spoke about how he and all the other pioneers of lindy hop learnt dancing. He led a rich and varied life and it was fascinating just listening to his memories of the Savoy and all the colourful characters he's known.

Rest in peace, Frankie. And thanks ever so much for reviving the dance that's played a major part in the person that I am today, even though I had no idea what would happen when I first started learning it ten years ago.

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