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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The BEST PARTY EVER!! Frankie100 in NYC May 22-26

For someone like me who lives in fear of missing out on any great happening (which is why I nudge my students to attend events--it's all about my not wanting anyone to miss out on anything), I am SO GLAD I spent the weekend at the Frankie100 event in NYC. It was hands down the best party ever! Since many of you were not able to attend, I'm going to give you a backstage pass... Follow along with us...

Thursday, May 22.
This was opening day of the five-day extravaganza. As volunteers, Chester and I went our separate ways for most of the weekend. He taught a couple of workshops at Alvin Ailey on Thursday while I helped check people in. After a full afternoon at our respective duties, we met two of our dance students Susan Simon and Beth Jones for dinner uptown in preparation for our NIGHT AT THE APOLLO.


Chester & Linda Waiting For the Show to Start!






The Classics Club! Dancers who started teaching in the '80s.

 Here's a link to Apollo Show Excerpts on YouTube.

 

Friday, May 23
A full day for both of us. Chester performed with the Big Apple Lindy Hoppers in Central Park. Here's a link to the performance taken with someone's phone.

I ushered all day at panel discussions and film festivals. Those who know me know that I am a total dance nerd when it comes to dance history and information. I can't get enough, so I was thrilled to be up close and personal with dance greats and history all weekend.

From left, panel moderator Manu Smith, Chazz Young (Frankie's son), Norma Miller (last surviving member of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers) and Dawn Hampton (Caberet singer & dancer)

Close up of Chazz Young. Frankie & Chazz performed on the road together for the last 30 years.

After all the educational panels, it was a pleasure to head over to the dancing! Friday night kicked off four nights of dancing with amazing bands.The venue, Terminal 5 had three floors of dancing! 

Over 2000 Dancers from 47 Countries.

Saturday, May 24
Front page of the NY Times notes Frankie100! Read it & see the photos!
Another day of panels for me, and two performances for Chester and the Big Apple Lindy Hoppers. One at a Youth Program at Lincoln Center and another at the evening dance put out by the Frankie Trifecta. (Yes, we weren't even at the same dance that night!).

Of course we all did the Shim Sham, and they opened up the floor to everyone who knew the Lindy Chorus! I joined the fun with a partner from Germany. Here's a link to the official video of our Lindy Hop class doing Frankie's Lindy Chorus that was posted for Frankie100.

Bands were George Gee and the David Berger Band till 4am (I made it till 3!)

Sunday, May 25
Countdown to Frankie's Birthday! At midnight hundreds of balloons were released over the dancers, and we all were served Frankie's favorite: Sweet potato pie (even vegan and gluten free versions were available! The organizers thought of everything!). Band was Gordon Webster. (I made it almost to 4am!)

Monday, May 26
Happy Birthday Frankie! We gathered at the Savoy Plaque where the Savoy Ballroom once stood. There was an official proclamation of May 26 being World Lindy Hop Day read by NY dignitaries. We then paraded through the streets of Harlem, passing all the important sites, and waving at people hanging out their windows to see what all the music and dancing was about. It was AWESOME to be part of this parade and the best was when a woman came out of a building, tossed her cane aside and started lindy hopping with a random dancer from the parade. The parade culminated with the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra playing at a school yard on Malcom X Blvd and W 135th Street.


See you Dancing!
Linda

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