A wonderfully athletic and agile dancer, Ann Johnson was Frankie Manning’s partner in Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers in 1940-1942. Manning says she was like a cat: ” No matter what way I threw her, she would land on her feet…She was also a wonderful human being.”.
She appeared with Manning twice in Life Magazine, once anonymously in 1940 in a photo of the aerial “Over the Head” sent in by a reader, the second in a great 1941 photo story by W.Eugene Smith which captures her mid-air and throughout an aerial step sequence.
As a member of Whitey’s primo group The Harlem Congaroos, Ann’s remarkable dancing can be seen in the feature film Hellzapoppin’and in the popular soundie Hot Chocolates.
From 1947-1952 Ann Johnson was Manning’s partner in the Congaroos and danced in the film Killer Diller.
Hot Chocolate (1941)
Killer Diller (1948)