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March 22, 2009

korea for the win

Posted by dogpossum on March 22, 2009 2:17 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances and lolfrankie | Comments (0)

Korea wins the Frankiefest shim sham:

It's Frankie's birthday this week. He's 95. The lindy hopping world is in a tizwoz, with people making videos of themselves doing the shim sham and putting them on youtube. It's really lovely to see how many thousands of people respect and value this bloke. I wish we were in New York this week - the Frankiefest celebrations are just amazing.
The work part of my brain is also pretty excited about the way people are using Faceplant, Youtube, etc to get together and organise the shim shamalong.
We did Sydney's yesterday afternoon. It was a glorious day, the FREAKIN OPERA HOUSE was all glisteny in the sun, and everyone was keen to get together and celebrate Frankie's birthday. As the Koreans say in that clip "Dear Frankie. Happy birthday to you!"

Who's Frankie Manning?
He's an old school lindy hopper. Watch this iconic clip from Hellzapoppin' to see Frankie (in the overalls) dancing. He choreographed this scene. Frankie is important not only as a dancer and teacher today, but as a choreographer and film star from the Olden Days. He's 95 this week, did I mention that? And he's still dancing. Here he is leading the shim sham in 2007, when he was 93.

Frankie was a badass lindy hopper in the Olden Days, but he retired in his 60s (or maybe earlier. Actually, I think it was earlier. He worked for the postal service, then retired from that). Then he became lindy hopping teacher extraordinaire in the 80s, when he was in his 70s. Now he is still teaching and traveling the world. He had a hip replacement years ago, then last year had that replacement replaced with new technology. He is borg lindy hopping bomb.

It's become a tradition for scenes to film themselves doing the shim sham for Frankie's birthday. It's almost the one event where even warring local factions come together and do something creative for a bigger purpose. Not even bush fire appeals or tsunamis get this sort of cooperation.

So, "Dear Frankie. Happy Birthday to you!"

Posted by dogpossum on March 22, 2009 2:17 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances and lolfrankie


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