Lindy Hop is one piece of the mosaicMore than moves and even style, Lindy Hop is a treasure that has been entrusted to us. A treasure to be shared within a social, musical, and cultural context. The dance is inseparable from this context. When understood in its own context it inspires deep respect for its culture and tradition. Without this connection, and without this respect the dance would be merely affectatious posturing. Imagine dancing Lindy Hop to Disco music! Or Salsa music. Of course you can. But what does it mean? Duke Ellington gave a musical answer. Norma Miller's book "Swingin' at the Savoy" contains a moving account of having to dance "when there ain't no swing". The context of the dance is ever present when Frankie or Norma speak.
Occasionally we are reminded that Lindy Hop does not exist in isolation, and that we ought to learn other dances. Certainly, at a dance event in the 1930's, people would not just be dancing the Lindy Hop all night long. When Frankie Manning attended his first dance at a Ballroom in Harlem, what was the first dance he danced? A Waltz. No, not the box-step Arthur Murray kind of Waltz. A real traditional flowing turning Waltz, the way people have been dancing for a very long time. And without the need for dance teachers.
Yes, alongside the Lindy Hop, people danced other traditional dances. One-step dances that had become the rage during the Ragtime Era - Blues, Foxtrot, Tango; the Waltz, the Schottische, the Polka, and other turning couple dances, as well as many sequence dances and set dances, and many fad dances that came and went.
What all these traditional dances have in common is that they evolved together with live, popular, traditional music, without the aid of dance teachers or institutions that defined standards for performance or competition. These dances evolved along _universal_ _principles_ wherever people danced. And people danced as a primary social activity. And everyone had an interest in making everyone feel welcome.
These traditions, these universal principles, and these dances are the essence and foundation of traditional couple dances, from Alpine to Zydeco, including especially the traditional Jazz folk dances, such as Blues and Lindy Hop.
Traditional Social Dancing is the antithesis to dance as professional art or sport. Dancing not outside of life, but as part of life itself.