This Wednesday is World Lindy Hop Day (WLHD), a day where we celebrate the history, culture, and the future of Lindy Hop on an international scale.
The 26th of May was Frankie Manning’s birthday. As one of the original Savoy dancers who helped to bring Lindy Hop into the spotlight, Frankie helped form the dance that we all know and love today. He even performed what is widely considered to be the first Aerial in 1935 with his partner Freda Washington while competing against Big Bea and Shorty George! He was a key player in promoting Lindy Hop in Europe during the 1980s, when it was growing in popularity, and helped teach many of the dancers there who eventually went on to become great teachers in their own right. Therefore, he is considered one of the founders of modern Lindy Hop.
In previous years Edinbop has organised social dances for WLHD to allow Edinburgh dancers to celebrate our love for the incredible (and incredibly energetic!) dance. However, the current COVID-19 situation prevents us from doing it for a second year in a row. That doesn’t mean that WLHD is cancelled though: play your favourite music loud! Dance in your homes and via video chat! Get dressed up to the nines and have some socially distant fun! Have a little read about the history of Lindy Hop, Swing and Jazz!
We would love to see any videos or pictures of you all enjoying the day that you choose to share with us, or link your favourite Lindy playlist on our Facebook post. And if you know of any events upcoming, let us know!
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the Frankie Manning Foundation website, where there is a wealth of information, original videos, links and resources on some of the original Lindy Hoppers. There is also an option to donate to their Emergency Support Programme, which supports full-time Lindy Hop instructors currently affected by COVID-19. Further Lindy Hop history information can be found at Yehoodi and Bobby White’s Swungover blog.
Whatever you do, and wherever you are this year, happy World Lindy Hop Day from the Edinbop Committee!
Photo credit: Bonnie Calderwood Aspinwall (2018)