Honorary Member: Chazz Young
After seeing his father, Frankie Manning, perform with Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers in 1943, ten-year-old Chazz Young decided he too wanted to be a dancer. Young trained extensively at Harlem’s famed Mary Bruce Studio, then performed jazz, tap, and Lindy hop routines while touring internationally with the Norma Miller Dancers from the late 1940s until the mid 1960s. At this point he took a fulltime position as a Postal Police Officer for the U. S. Postal Service, but continued to perform professionally and teach dance to children and adults. Since the beginning of the swing dance revival in the mid 1980s, this hugely talented performer, choreographer, and teacher has been recognized as an invaluable resource and is once again traversing the globe to share his deep knowledge of authentic jazz dance. Young hoofed it in the film The Cotton Club, and swung out in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. In 1994, he retired from the post office and moved to Las Vegas where he serves as Assistant Director of the Austin Dance Academy (relocated from New York), for which he has taught tap and Lindy hop since 1966.
LaTasha Barnes is an internationally recognized and awarded dancer, educator, coach, entrepreneur, Tradition-Bearer and ambassador of culture. Based in New York, Barnes is celebrated for her musicality, athleticism, and joyful presence throughout the cultural traditions she bears: House, Hip-Hop, Waacking, Vernacular Jazz, and Lindy Hop. Her expansive artistic, competitive and performative skills have made her a frequent collaborator to many artists as well as international festivals like the International Lindy Hop Championships (ILHC), and Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival. Expanding the scope of impact for her communities Barnes was awarded herself designed Master’s in Ethnochoreology, Black Studies and Performance Studies thru New York University Gallatin School (2019). Her continuing work aims to bridge the gap between communities of practice and academic cultural dance research, performance, and preservation. Goals aside, Barnes’ forever purpose is to inspire fellow artists and art enthusiasts to cultivate an authentic sense of self in their creative expressions and daily lives.
In the Summer of 1998, Elliott Donnelley stumbled into Herrang, Sweden for what was supposed to be a four day stop on a three and a half week tour of Europe. Fate had other plans for him and he ended up spending three weeks and almost his entire vacation learning to dance the Lindy Hop. Although he didn’t fully grasp it at the time his life was forever changed.
Over the next several years, Elliott devoted almost every waking hour to learning to dance the Lindy Hop. He and his brother Owen became avid dancers in their hometown of San Francisco and attended every camp and workshop they could. In 1999, Elliott co-founded Loose Change, a San Francisco based dance company committed to fusing Lindy Hope with other styles of dance. In 2000 he began to compete and perform and in 2002 was invited to teach at the Herrang Dance Camp by Catrine Ljunggren, a founding member of the Camp and of the Swedish dance group the Rhythm Hot Shots. Elliott and Catrine have taught at Herrang every year since as well as at many other camps and festivals around the globe.
In 2001, Elliott joined Chris Lee and Jason Christodoulou to organize his first lindy event– the All Star Weekend in Sacramento, CA. Subsequently, Elliott has helped organize a number of other events including the Sacramento Swing Festival, The Brazil Swing Out Extravaganza, LHAIF, Frankie Manning’s 90th Birthday Cruise, The Count Basie Centennial, The 80th Anniversary of the Savoy Ballroom and Frankie Manning’s 95th Birthday Festival.
In addition to his role as a festival organizer Elliott has also produced or co-produced several live CD’s including Barbara Morrison Live at the 9:20 Special, Barbara Morrison, Jr. Mance, and Houston Person Live at the Dakota, and Nachito Herrera Live at the Dakota.
Outside of his passion for dance and music, Elliott is involved in many other non-profit and for-profit projects and activities that keep him constantly in motion around the globe.
Mandi Gould is a dance organizer, administrator, and former dance studio owner and instructor. She had the privilege of assisting Frankie Manning with workshops in 2002, 2006 and 2008, which proved to be life-changing experiences. Following Frankie’s example, she has dedicated herself to spreading the Lindy Hop as dance as well the values that Frankie shared. In addition to teaching Lindy Hop for many years in Toronto and abroad, she was the Overall Event Organizer for Frankie 100 in New York City in May 2014.
Julia Loving for the past 27 years has been a Teacher of Africana History and School Media Specialist in the New York City public schools. Her Lindy hop training began under the tutelage of Samuel Coleman in Harlem back in 2013. Her interest in Lindy Hop grew out of her watching the elders dance while attending outdoor community dance events in Harlem and attending MidSummer Night Swing as a teenager. She is co-founder of SwingWithUsNYC.com which organizes dance events in NYC, specifically in Harlem. She was honored to host the Frankie Manning 105/Norma Miller Dance Tribute in May of 2019. She has taught introductory level lindy hop to adults at the Marcus Garvey Center in Harlem as well as to her middle/high school students attending her after school program From Lindy Hop to Hip Hop. She prides herself as being an older and plus size Lindy Hopper in her blog biggirlslindyhoptoo.
Cynthia Millman performed with the Big Apple Lindy Hoppers under the artistic direction of Frankie Manning and studied, taught, and partnered with this dance master. Inspired by her love of the Lindy hop and by Manning’s rich history, she began writing articles on vernacular dance for Dance Magazine, The International Encyclopedia of Dance, and swing dance publications; lectured on swing dancing with Manning; and co-authored his autobiography, Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop (Temple University Press, 2007). She served on the Board of Directors of The New York Swing Dance Society, and has consulted on numerous programs and publications about swing dancing. Millman holds master’s degrees in both Dance/Dance Education and Library Science, and serves as Library Director at The Town School in New York City.
Dr. Marie N’diaye (PhD) is a Lindy Hop and African American Vernacular Jazz choreographer, performer and educator as well as a dance researcher.
Marie has been dancing almost as long as she has been walking, training mostly in modern Jazz. She fell in love with Lindy Hop and other African American Vernacular Jazz dances in 2006.
A true scientist (She obtained her PhD in Neuroimmunology from Karolinska Institute, Stockholm Sweden in 2018), Marie loves history and facts. She has been applying her scientific method and dance education to conduct an embodied practice-based research of Jazz dance through the study of original video clips and collaborations with many established dancers. She has also researched the cultural and social context of the Jazz dance era through literature study and interviews of artists. Her main focus is on the African American Jazz Women and Chorines (chorus girls) of the time.
Marie worked and danced with the fantastic teachers of the Cat’s Corner Studio in Montreal, Canada and Chicago Swing Dance Studio in Stockholm, Sweden. She also teaches internationally, in France, Spain, England, Australia, Russia, USA, China… as well as at the world famous Herräng Dance Camp
Currently, she is also leading a new initiative, Collective Voices for Change, along with other dancers and scholars in order to create a platform to address social issues in the Jazz dance community. The current focus of the initiative is to discuss the issues of cultural appropriation and racial injustice.
An avid social dancer since the mid-1980s, Judy Pritchett developed a strong interest in the history of the Savoy Ballroom and launched one of the first swing dance websites, The Archives of Early Lindy Hop, in 1995. A couple of years later she opened an online shop, the SavoyStyle Swing Dance Shop. Most of all, she had the good fortune to be Frankie Manning’s close companion for 21 years. Judy has produced a documentary Dancing the Big Apple 1937 which gives an in-depth analysis of the Big Apple dance craze and sheds light on Frankie Manning’s relationship to the Big Apple and its South Carolina roots. Judy also worked for 25 years in the mental health field, with a special interest in schizophrenia and homelessness.
Buddy Steves is a Founding Board Member, Chair, and CEO of Houston Swing Dance Society. He has led the organization continuously since 1997. It is the nation’s largest 501(c)(3) organization that promotes Lindy Hop and related dances of the Swing Era. He is a Board Member of Children at Risk and the Board President of University of Fondwa-USA. He is the Chair and CEO of Financial Casualty & Surety Insurance Company, the Vice Chair of Myron Steves, and the Practice Leader for Myron Steves Healthcare. Buddy lives and works in Houston, Texas with his wife, Rowena Young, an attorney specializing in criminal law. Michael, his oldest son, graduated from Wesleyan University in 2013 and works as a filmmaker in LA (www.clingerdigital.com). Joshua, his younger son, is a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, Class of 2015, majoring in math and physics. Joshua is the captain of the USNA’s NCAA Division 1 gymnastics team.
Former Member: Tena Morales-Armstrong
“I am grateful and truly appreciative of my time on the board and being apart of all the wonderful things we have been able to achieve! Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time I need to accomplish some of my other goals. Part of the thing that this Covid-19 situation has done for me, is to put into perspective just how short life is and that I need to get on to business of accomplishing my goals. “
The Board of Directors of the Frankie Manning Foundation would like to thank Tena Morales for her outstanding service on our board and for her contributions to the Foundation’s mission. Tena was part of the team that put on Frankie 95, which gave birth to the Foundation. She was also instrumental in the Lindy Hoppers Fund, which later merged with the Foundation. Tena brought an extraordinary resume of experience to the task, including years of organizing major swing dance events; being part the team that produced Frankie 95, which gave birth to the Foundation; and co-creating the Lindy Hoppers Fund (which later merged with FMF). We are tremendously grateful for her leadership role in the FMF COVID emergency relief grant program, her outstanding work on our finance committee, and her dedication to preserving and promoting Frankie Manning’s legacy and values. We feel lucky to have benefitted from her wise counsel and effective expertise during her tenure. We look forward to continuing to enjoy a warm relationship with Tena. On behalf of the global swing dance community, we honor Tena and wish her the very best in future endeavors.