Google Honors Lindy-Hop Ambassador Frankie Manning

Frankie Manning Google Doodle

Google has decided to honor Lindy-Hop ambassador Frank Manning on what would have been his 102nd birthday.

Manning was born on May 26, 1914 and went on to become one of the most recognized Lindy hoppers in history. For all you youngins out there, the Lindy Hop is a style of dance that evolved in Harlem, New York during the ’20s and ’30s and was a popular dance to do to jazz and swing music. It’s a fusion of many older dances, like the Charleston, tap, jazz and breakaway. Doing the Lindy Hop involves some improvisation and a lot of skill.

Frankie Manning

Frankie Manning doing a squat Charleston, circa late 1980s. Photo credit: Ralph Gabriner/Frankie Manning Official Site

Manning was not only a master of the dance, but revolutionized it as well. He has been credited with creating the lindy air step and synchronized ensemble lindy routine. During the height of his fame, Manning performed with the likes of jazz legends including Ethel Waters, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Cab Calloway.

The dancer lived an impressive life, which shines through in his body of work and accomplishments. According to Google, “He also served in WWII, toured South America and the UK with his troupe, The Congaroos, performed the Lindy for King George VI, and won a Tony Award for his choreographic work on the Broadway musical Black and Blue.” Manning was also a consultant for and performed in Spike Lee’s 1992 film Malcolm X.

The video below is a fun example of the fancy footwork that the Lindy Hop was famous for, and features Manning doing what he did best:

Photo Credit: Google