Paying tribute to Frankie Manning with the Lindy hop - New York News

Paying tribute to Frankie Manning with the Lindy hop

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

In the historic Edison Ballroom in Midtown Manhattan, Paolo and Michele are going over their steps, and stepping back in time. Their dance of choice is the Lindy hop.

"It's the grandfather of all swing dance. And it's the first of all swing dances," Paolo Lanna said. "It was born here in New York, in Harlem, and it's just a wild, whirly, flying dance."

Thousands of people from all over the world will hit this very dance floor Friday night for the Frankie Manning Centennial Savoy Ball. The event will honor the late dancer from the 1930s, who is considered one of the founders of the Lindy hop.

"There's nothing like it, just great music," said Patrick Soluri, event co-producer. "Frankie Manning said it's a three-minute romance."

Alan Sugarman, event co-producer, said: "His energy, his humanity, his ability to communicate with people was just extraordinary."

The dancers will be moving and grooving to the rhythms of George Gee's 17-piece swing orchestra.

"Swing makes me happy. And I like to think it makes everybody happy," Gee said. "It puts the snap in your finger, the bounce in your toe. All of a sudden your body starts moving in ways you weren't anticipating."

"There's all kinds of degree of skill to it," said Will Friedwald, a wall street journal writer. "But at the same time, if you know absolutely nothing, you can just get on the floor, hold your partner, count to four, and you're dancing."

I'm not the most coordinated person in the world. I asked Paolo what he could teach me. So even though I have two left feet, I gave it a shot.

"Kind of bend at the knees like this and get that rhythm going," he says. "And we're just going to change weight from one foot to the other. And look she's already moving."

Paolo showed me his favorite move: the jockey.21

"So you're going to take your right foot back and go one, two, three, and you're going to tap with the inside foot and step," he said. "Ready? One, two, three, tap, step."

I did get into it, but i won't call myself a dancer -- yet.

Luckily, you don't have to be a dancer to enjoy a night of dancing and great fun.

"It's a celebration of life," Soluri said. "There's great music, there's dancing. What's not to love?"

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