With World Lindy Hop Day (WLHD) fast approaching, we are celebrating the incredible life, passion, and energy of original Lindy Hopper, Frankie Manning. Edinbop will be hosting a free social dance, with DJ sets specifically themed around the music originally played in the Savoy Ballroom.
WLHD falls on Frankie’s birthday, 26th May, and is celebrated by Lindy Hoppers worldwide to remember one of the founders of the dance we love. One thing Frankie is always remembered for was his attitude towards dancing and towards everyone he danced with. The Frankie Manning Foundation has put together a wonderful graphic promoting the values Frankie brought to Lindy Hop:
We highly recommend that our dancers dig into Lindy Hop history and read up on Frankie’s life.
Hellzapoppin’ – perhaps the best-known clip of Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, from the 1941 film Hellzapoppin’. This version was recently uploaded in 1080p HD by Atillo Menéndez. Frankie can be seen wearing a mechanics outfit, dancing with Ann Johnson.
We’ve had a few questions lately on what types of shoes work best for swing dancing, so here’s a few recommendations!
If you’re a new dancer coming to your first lessons, any smooth-soled, flat shoes will be perfect. Make sure they won’t slip off your feet on the dancefloor – ones that lace up are ideal.
If you’ve been dancing for a while, you might be looking at investing in some specific dancing shoes. Some dancers prefer suede soles and others like leather soles – this helps us glide on wooden floors in dance halls, means we can pivot, and saves our knees from a lot of potential pain!
For Lindy Hop, we recommend wearing flat soles to allow for the athletic movements and high pace. For Balboafollowers, you may find wearing heels will help to give you the perfect position to shuffle away all night!
Some people buy ordinary shoes and then get the soles sueded – there is a locksmiths on South Clerk Street (almost opposite Sainsburys) that Edinburgh dancers often go to.
Alternatively, you may want to buy shoes already designed for dancing, such as Aris Allens or Bleyer. There are a few websites where you can buy swing dance shoes listed below, but always make sure you do some research into the fit before ordering them: www.swingdanceuk.com www.revival-retro.com www.bleyershoes.com
There are some terrific bands playing this year and there’s already talk on the Edinbop facebook page with folks planning to dance their way through the festival. We wholeheartedly recommend seeing this lot for starters:
(Dance space may be limited in some venues)