Bunny's Pills

Frankie’s First Time

Frankie Manning and his friend Herman, at 13 years old, had recently discovered the Alhambra, where they had been going for a few Sundays now, marinating in the activities of the youth recreation center where his mother expected him to go.

It was an afternoon event dedicated to neighborhood youth and admission cost 5 cents. A big band would perform on stage and the kids, about Frankie's age, would hit the dance floor performing the hottest dance at the time, breakaway.

For three weeks in a row, every Sunday, Frankie and his friend stood there, attached the handrail that surrounded the dance floor, looking around ecstatically, trying to work up the courage to invite some girls to dance.

The fourth time they swore they would finally do it that afternoon.

When they arrived, Frankie noticed a young woman standing still near the access to the dance floor. He was sure she wanted to dance because she was snapping her fingers, tapping her foot on the floor and moving her head, without even music playing. He told Herman and walked toward her.

At that time girls were usually asked to dance before the music started, so he invited her, she said yes, and Frankie led her to the dance floor. He was very nervous as they stood there waiting for the band to start playing: it was the first time he had ever danced with someone his age, although he had practiced well with Herman and...with a broom. He looked toward his partner, who encouraged him, showing him his thumbs up.

Then the orchestra began to play...a waltz!

The girl was there waiting, but Frankie was petrified. He didn't want to give up dancing with her, but he really had no idea how to waltz! She cast a glance toward Herman, to see if she could help him, but, clearly, he was standing there, doubled over in laughter.

At that moment, a young couple walked past him, so Frankie put his arm around his dancer's waist and began to follow the other boy around the dance floor. His eyes were glued on him and he did not once look at the young woman he was dancing with. When the music ended, he thanked her and quickly left the floor. Herman was still dying of laughter and reported to him how funny the whole scene had been.

And this was his first experience in a dance hall!

About the author

Bunny Donowitz

Bunny Donowitz

She started dancing in 2009, and in 2013 began organizing dance nights, events with live music and simultaneously experimenting as a DJ. To this day, her passion for music and history are recognized by everyone in the community and beyond, and his history talks are always well-attended and exciting. Her djsets reflect her interest in the people of the past, those who created this music and those who, under the stage, danced to it. If you find her in a a venue she will always be happy to share her stories with you or have a dance, console permitting!

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