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Viva la Lindy!


When some of your best friends are Dancing With the Stars pros Louis van Amstel and Karina Smirnoff, you think you'd have the 411 on the latest trends that are sweeping America's dance halls. Meet Rebecca Sweet, whose Viva Dance! Studio is the backdrop for this weekend's series of lessons with Frankie Manning. The 94-year-old "Ambassador of the Lindy Hop" is still as spry as Sweet's twentysomething students. And he'll kick it into fifth gear by leading classes in the Charleston, Shim Sham, blues, tango fusion, and, of course, the Lindy. When he's not teaching, Manning will talk up his favorite memories about dancing in the elite "Kat's Korner" of Harlem's Savoy Ballroom in the '30s, when the club held impromptu exhibitions and competitions. During a 1935 contest, Manning and partner Frieda Washington performed a "back-to-back roll," which was the first aerial move ever executed in an American dance-off. More astounding, Manning got his bump on for his 90th birthday, when he wouldn't get off the dance floor until he boogied with one woman for every year of his life. Ask him about it between 7 p.m. and midnight tonight, 10:30 a.m. and 1 a.m. tomorrow, and 10:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. Sunday at Viva Dance!, 12381 Pearl Road in Strongsville. Lesson fees are $10 to $30. Call 440-878-3930 or visit
Fri., April 18, 7 p.m.-midnight; Sat., April 19, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; Sun., April 20, 10:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m., 2008

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