Ask Frankie

Joe, you've completely missed the point and mischaracterized your own argument. I've always said that there were no counts used by the lindy hoppers at the Savoy, however if anyone counts out their swing out you end up with an eight count movement.

Completely different than your statement that "there was no eight count Lindy Hop in the 40's and 50's".
Re: Frankie's Verification

Black Sheep said:
Lindy Buffs,
Does not the statement below by Frankie verify what I have been saying for a long, long time that, 'There was no such thing as an 'Eight Count Lindy" in the 1940's & 1950's'?

Has what you teaching changed over the years?
FRANKIE, "Well, it has changed because now at least I know how to count up to eight!
Ahhh... but you see that he doesn't say that it used to be a six count dance! In fact this statement verifies that the DANCE has not changed (only the method of teaching it) and the DANCE is an EIGHT COUNT MOVEMENT-- and has always been that way.

This completely shoots down your theory of lindy being based on a six count movement... I am interested to see how gracefully you can accept this.

'Talk is cheep, but Frankie's Verification is GOLDEN'
Yes, I agree... which is why I'm posting this in the hopes you'll consider that what Frankie Manning is saying is actually in opposition of your painfully strong opinions.


I thought one person's verification wasn't to be believed,
if it was through someone else, who may have
misinterputed for their own gain?



Staff member
I read the interview the same as Swing Kitten does. Also keep in mind that I am not, nor have I ever claimed to be, a swing dancer. As such, perhaps I'm reading what it says and not what I hope or think it says, hmmm?
I’m sad this issue continues. :( :( :(

I don’t know much of the Lindy hop thing, but I got this question for Frankie “the legend” I hope I have been formulating the question correct, and I hope Joe will accept the answer, whatever this may be, so we can burry this crusade. :?


I got this friend named Joe. He is an old guy, who has danced the Lindy hop from back in the 40’s. He insist that back then, they used a teaching method based on a count to 6, even though it was a 8 beat rhythm. It has become an issue in our dance-forum, and very important for Joe, if this was common back then, or a local thing. So, back in the 40’s & 50’s, did they use a count to 6, a count to 8, or didn’t they count at all while teaching?

I understand the d’nice will be able to talk to Frankie again later.
If we need a better choice of words, let me know. :wink:
six vs eight

The Six Count Question is answered in SDSalsaguy's thread, 'Frankie
Manning...Master of the Lindy Hop'. Frankie categorically states that in the
1930's and 1940's they did not count at all, and it wasn't until 1980' he
states, "I learned to count up to eight." Check the interview for 'PRIMARY
I came up with the 'Magic Pill Six Count Lindy' in 2002 to simplify the learning process of the dance to help increase the diminishing Swing population for everyone's benefit; teachers and students.
The only count we used in the Hollywood area in the 1950's was, "1,2,3,-1,2,3-rock step (1,2)" I never heard the term 'TRIPLE-TRIPLE, or SIX count or EIGHT count terms in the 1950's until I returned, like Frankie did in 1980, I returned to dancing in 1999.
What is the significance in the end result in the appearance of the dance in general? NONE! The significance is in the expedited learnining process when using the Joe Lanza Six Count teaching method, and here is WHY!
The great majority of teachers today are using the number of STEPS 'eight' (8) in teaching the Lindy Basic patterns: While, in teaching, I use the number of QUARTER NOTES (6) used to complete one Basic Lindy pattern. Why? because it is a much more logical and flexible method in teaching the Lindy, besides teaching the dancer that the musical beats are of the PRIMARY focus NOT the number of steps taken, AND HERE IS THE KEY: The number of steps in the Lindy vary considerably with the innovative patterns created by the WCS dancers and the Joshua Jive stylists. BUT the numberof 'six quarter beats' NEVER changes WHEN dancing the Savoy Lindy Hop.

Black Sheep, 'The truth never NEEDS to be remembered'. Socrates, 359 b.c.

Joe. I highly suggest you read this site on learning to read music.

This isn't the first time you have referenced notes and done it incorrectly. It'll make your arguments a lot stronger... of course when you realize how the counting of notes and steps work... you find yourself without an argument.

There are quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes, what the majority of teachers are counting is the steps to the notes...

As in 1 2 3 & 4 5 6 7 & 8 with the 1 and 2 representing a quarter note and the 3 an eighth note and the & 4 representing sixteenth notes, repeat this pattern for the second bar 5-8.

So where are we at now Joe? Its hard to comment about a teaching style you have never used because you are probably missing the nuances invovled. I'm glad to say my students don't.
Black Sheep said:
The only count we used in the Hollywood area in the 1950's was, "1,2,3,-1,2,3-rock step (1,2)" I never heard the term 'TRIPLE-TRIPLE, or SIX count or EIGHT count terms in the 1950's until I returned, like Frankie did in 1980, I returned to dancing in 1999.
What is the significance in the end result in the appearance of the dance in general? NONE! The significance is in the expedited learnining process when using the Joe Lanza Six Count teaching method, and here is WHY!

Somebody pushed the reset button or what?

I don’t get it.

Why ask Frankie anything about the 6 count if this is a 2002 thing for Joe?
Sorry, forget my Question from before, Ill just skip the swing pages.

Guess I’ll stick to salsa.


Well-Known Member
I've tried really hard to stay out of this whole thing, because I find it to be counterproductive. But, during karate class today, it came to me that now I have to have a say. Here's what I say.

This whole situation has gotten personal. Way too personal. But, bottom line is it's not personal, and it's not about whom you find to be the most sympathetic figure. If you're anything like me, you feel sympathy and genuine affection for everybody involved. To me, this situation and the questions at hand are about facts. So here are some facts that I don't think anyone can dispute.

1. Black Sheep is a great guy and a knowledgeable teacher, with years of experience teaching lindy hop and other dances. He also successfully ran his own dance studio for many years.

2. dnice is a dance historian, who has spent his career traveling the US and the world, researching lindy and other dances, as well as personally interviewing many of the living legends of these dances.

3. Frankie Manning is alive and well, G_d bless him, and is perfectly capable of answering any questions we may have. In my mind, he's already answered the questions on the table pretty unequivocally, but, if people have lingering doubts, ask him again.

While I don't think matters of historical accuracy are as simple as who remembers what, I'm still with Danish guy on this one. These are not ancient unsolvable mysteries of the Bible. We may never know what Moses meant when he wrote Exodus, since he died a few millenia ago, and can't tell us himself. Frankie Manning, on the other hand, is alive and well, and, from all appearances, fairly accessible.

Let's ask Frankie.


Well-Known Member
We did. And he answered. But, we're going to be stuck here until all the dissenters accept the answers. So the question on the table is what will it take to make asking Frankie enough? A tape/video recording was suggested a couple days ago. At that time, I thought it was ridiculous to have to go to those lengths. Now, I wonder.

The thing is that we all have much more in common than we have in dispute. So settle the dispute however you need to, and get back into the helping each other mode.

And asking Frankie can look a million different ways. It could be referring to things he's written, interviews he's done, video footage that's there in the archives. Or, as a last resort, it could be literally asking him again, or more specifically. Whatever it takes. Just settle it.
I somehow have the feeling that Frankie could come onto these forums, write his own answer and for some reason it still wouldn't be good enough!!

I'm begining to see that the problem is not with the answer but with the hearer of the answer.

Oh how often that is the case!


His breakdown of dance is on video, and is easily accessable by local Library or one's own ordering. Even that, as SwingKitten brings up, isn't enough yet.

Frankie can be asked in person by anyone who doubts the short answers I gave to the questions. I'll find time in the next week to type up Frankie's stories and long answers. I'm suppssed to give him a call and I'll do that as soon as I figure out how to record the conversation so it can be turned into a digital file so it can be uploaded and made available to everyone on this forum...

Of course some people might doubt whether or not Frankie is actually Frankie... but I can't help that.
Maybe that will help. However I still have my doubts if even that would convince someone who seems bent on disregaurding anything that does not coincide with his atablished world view. Seriously, is there anyone other than joe who is having any problems accepting the answers given thus far? I can't think of ONE... I also find it amazing the lengths that have already been gone to in order to convince someone of something that they seem to absolutely refuse being convinced of... that he is wrong.

There's nothing wrong with being wrong-- it's doesn't mean they are a bad person or anything... but to admit it and alter one's behavior accordingly is not only a sign of true intelligence but of actual reason.

Black Sheep says he has no problem admitting when he is wrong... which inspired audible laughter on my part... and only reminds me of when he has apologizes for conduct he fails to correct in any sense of a long term manner.
September 19th, 2003 Frankie Manning interview, Sacramento Swing Festival

Who was your favorite band?

I’m not sure you’ve heard of him. He was kind of small, but we liked him. His name was, um, something like, Bay. Base. Oh, Count Basie. (Applause and Laughter) Oh, you’ve heard of him? Yeah, he was the swingiest Swing band that ever swung, Jim. Those cats could swing anything. They get out there and we’d get out there and it was just magic.

Who is the most under appreciated or least recognized contributor to the dance?

Whitey. Herbert “Whitey” White. He got all of us together. When you were dancing and Whitey walked by everyone started dancing all out, knowing he was scouting for talent. Whitey was a good dancer, but his talent was spotting talent in others and developing it. He taught us confidence and pride. He taught us we don’t have to bow down to anyone.
There was this show we were in. It was a Bill Robinson show. Bill Robinson was kind of a bad character. He had been given this silver pistol by the mayor of a city he had performed at. When he shot pool he’d pull this pistol out and set it on the side of the table, so everyone knew he was serious. No one messed with Bill.
So we were in this show and there was this dancer, Dynamite Hooker, he was a tap dancer. When he got of stage there were always the next act waiting to go on in the wings, he‘d just push his way through, knocking people around. I was talking to this beautiful young lady in the chorus line, and off comes Dynamite pushing people around. Well he pushed me, and I jut laid him out. One hit and he was down.
People started pulling me away saying Bill didn’t like any fighting in his shows. That he was going to fire me. Well in those days the lindy hoppers always closed down the show. No one could go on after us. When I got off stage someone was waiting for me. ‘Bill Robinson is waiting for you in his dressing room.’ I went down there to his door and knocked.
‘Who is it?’ he says.
I say, ‘It’s Frankie Manning, the lindy Hopper.’
’Come in.’ So I go in and he’s sitting there just looking at me and then says ‘I don’t like fighting on my sets. Every show there is someone who is a trouble maker and starts fights.’
‘There really wasn’t I fight. I hit him once and he went down. Besides he shoved me. NO one shoves me. NO one puts their hands on me. I’ll hit ANYONE who does.’ I wanted to make sure that he understood I meant anyone, even him.
‘There will be no fighting on my set. If you have a problem see me. Now get out of here.’ I turned and started to leave when he called out to me right as I was at the door. ‘Frankie?’
‘Yes sir?’
‘I’ve wanted to do that for three years.’

That is what Whitey taught us. We were as good as anyone else. Never think that you aren’t never let anyone walk over you.


Well-Known Member
That is a great story. I wonder what his voice sounds like. You can really "hear" his personality in that narrative. What a character he must be! :D
He has a slightly smoother voicer than Louis Armstrong. It's funny if I were 50 years older I'd probably sound just like him. My ex finacee actually mistook Frankie for me once upon a time. Really funny.

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