Monday, April 27, 2009

Bow to the KING

My other passion in life is swing dancing. Nothing, absolutely nothing, beats stress like a good night out dancing. My prefered style is lindy hop - the original dance from Harlem in the 1930s named after Lindbergh and his 'hop' over the ocean. I can dance other styles but prefer lindy hop. I've even tried to figure out how I could live my life so I could just travel and dance. Never worked out a satisfactory plan that allowed for food... so I settled for a regular night out as often as I could.

Since having a little guy the dancing is now a trickle - every couple of months. But it is still my passion and I live in envy of people who keep the first of their passion for their entire lives. Frankie Manning is one such man. Frankie is one of the original Savoy Ballroom lindy hop dancers. He is credited with the first ever 'aerial'. He lived his life for lindy hop. Check him out on youtube

When the interest in lindy hop died in the 60s he became a postman. But in the 1980s when lindy hop was re-discovered he was right back in the game. He was a consumate gentleman - he always instructed the leads to bow to their queens before they started the dance. His passion for the dance was evident and contagious. I took some classes from him at dance camps and have had the honour to dance with him at Swing Out Northwest. But most of all he was an inspiring example of someone who lived their passion his entire life. He was dancing, teaching and travelling to dance and teach right up until his death. He died today one month shy of his 95th birthday.

Today I bow to the KING. And I hope to honour him by burning up that dance floor for years to come.

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