"Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life." ~Art Blakey
Mandi Gould is a member of the Board of Directors for the Frankie Manning Foundation, was an organizer of Frankie 100, and is one of the the original founding members of Bees' Knees Dance and Toronto Lindy Hop.
Can we PLEASE start to properly acknowledge women in Lindy Hop? I just read a comment that completely ignored the woman in a video of only two people dancing and she was frigging killing it, some of the best dancing I’ve seen, but people were only commenting about the man. My mind is blown. What is wrong with us that so many of us do that, even if it’s unconscious… Especially if it’s unconscious. BE conscious! This is a dance that gives and takes in the partnership more than any other dance I know of. If we can go on a huge campaign to change the name of the Jack n’ Jill, we can certainly start to open our eyes and give women proper acknowledgment. It needs to start NOW.
At the risk of missing people, I’d like to acknowledge some of the incredible women who have made an impact on my dancing and who are friggin’ AWESOME. It’s impossible to make a complete list and I don’t want to slight anyone. This is just a personal list and it includes people who have been important to me at various times, both from my local scene and the bigger Lindy Hop landscape:
Diane van Haaren
Eva Lagerqvist Jansson
Ewa “W” Burak
Marie Nahnfeldt Mattsson
Thank you to all of these women for the inspiration that they’ve given me!
I’ve been inspired by Åsa Heedman, previously Åsa Palm, since I first saw her dancing in 1999. I had been dancing for over a year but had never seen a follower bring such ownership of her own musicality and personality to the dance before. Seeing her changed my view of the dance completely.
A couple of months after seeing her dancing, I had the chance to take my first classes from her at the Herrang Dance Camp. That’s when I met Daniel Heedman. He was in my class and was also experiencing Herrang and her classes for the first time. He went on to become an incredible dancer in his own right, and eventually Åsa dance partner and husband.
These two have one of the most beautiful dance partnerships in the world, and they’re my favourite dancers in the world. They just keep getting better and better. The soul that they bring to this new clip epitomizes everything that I love about Lindy Hop and jazz dance culture. (Yes, it’s mainly solo dancing, but it’s an important part of our partnered culture too.)
I want to share this clip on Frankie’s birthday. It was one of the highlights of my life and this short dance heavily influenced the way that I feel about Lindy Hop. What was truly incredible about this is the way that Frankie turned ON to perform. Though I had the chance to dance with him a bit at other times, this was the only time on camera and it was an enlightening experience. WOW. He lit up for the camera and shed 20+ years in an instant.
At its heart, there’s nothing like a good Swing Out, and the Swing Out is the perfect 8-count move. The Frankie Phrase (Swing Out from Closed, Swing Out, Swing Out, Circle) perfectly fits a phrase of most swing music.
Thank you so much for coming to the workshop, everyone!
It feels great to share Frankie Manning’s story, moves, musicality, and inspiration any time of year, but especially in May for #FrankieMonth. It felt especially *right* to offer a free workshop and I think I’ll make it an annual tradition. That was the largest group we’ve had out dancing in St. Catharines in several years–about 50 people. Continue reading “Thank You! $351 Raised!”→
The workshops will run from 1pm to 4ish followed by some social dancing. The first hour at 1pm will be extremely important for anyone who hasn’t learned the Frankie Phrase from Mandi. If you haven’t been doing swingouts for years, aren’t familiar with “straight swingouts”, and can’t do swingouts in your sleep, definitely please don’t miss the first hour. Continue reading “Important Information for this Sunday’s Workshop”→
Frankie Manning was a man of great honour and strong values. We are lucky enough to have had his influence on our community, and for #FrankieMonth we’re emphasizing these ideas, both in our local communities and on a global level. Continue reading “#FrankieMonth Values”→
Some of my favourite footage from the first summer that I ever learned from Frankie Manning, back in 1999. Dancing here with Åsa Heedman (now Åsa Heedman) at the Herräng Dance Camp in Sweden. Continue reading “Frankie Manning 1999”→