Mandy, been there, done the foxtrot thing. It's totally do-able but requires good floorcraft. The nice thing is it can travel quickly so it's easy to travel past Lindy Hoppers mid-swingout. Even more fun is doing Peabody which travels wicked fast, I image it probably scares the snot out of newbie Lindy Hoppers on the edge of the floor.
In response to the last post from Razz:
<rant>There's an old saying in the live music world ... if you can't play it good, play it loud. There have been way too many rock bands that are basically one chord wonders that only know one rhythm. Between that and sterile electronically generated music to back up the pop diva or boy band de jour, I believe the present generation is near the end of a long trend of dumbing down music. If it's not someone hammering away like mad on tom toms with some high pitched electric guitar shrills loud enough to make your head bob without even trying, some young punks will immediately discount the music and not even give it a try.</rant>
To appreciate music, you actually have to listen to it. Be it jazz, blues, classical or even some of the contemporary R&B. I'm guessing your friend who doesn't like jazz would probably dislike Alicia Keys or Mary J. Blige as well so I wouldn't take is comments as a universal opinion of the masses.
I believe if you're not digging the music, your not going to dig the dance because the movements in the dance reflect the music. I've seen attempts of Lindy Hop to rock music and it looks more like Ceroc with swingouts. Not Lindy Hop.
Julius' description immediately brings to mind Basie's band, playing stuff like "Every Tub", "Swinging the Blues" or "Jumpin' at the Woodside". I also think of the 1993 trailer for Swing Kids featuring Benny Goodman's "Swingtime in the Rockies" or "Sing Sing Sing" (despite the fact that it was way overplayed a few years ago). I'd also think of Goodman's "King Porter Stomp", Lionel Hampton's or Charlie Barnet's "Flying Home" and nearly any version of "Rockin' in Rhythm". I've got a soft spot for "Sing You Sinners", there are a few good versions out there.
Sometimes the older scratchy lo-fi sounding recordings can be a little off-putting to newbies used to modern hi-fi recordings George Gee
has a couple samples from his new CD to be released in a few days; "All the Cat's Join In" and "Down South Camp Meeting". Both great versions of some classic tunes. The Boilermakers Jazz Band have some great stuff on their last CD, I think Jonathon Stout has a new CD discussed on another thread which sounds like it should be pretty good.
There's really tons of stuff out there if you start looking but it take time and a lot of money to find and purchase it. If you rely on a few "Swing" compilations from your local music store, you're likely going to be disappointed.
By the way, you didn't answer Mary Ann's question about where you're from.