Dancing Enhances Music

The best music is the music that is written for dance because dancing enhances music.
— Dizzy Gillespie, musician

When we dance to recorded music, the relationship is fairly straightforward.  The music happens and the dancers respond.  This is how many people nowadays experience dance, particularly lindy hop.

But this is not the history of how lindy hop was born. Music was played live. Dancers and musicians inspired one another.

When you play and you see 6 lindy hoppers out there working their brains out and you know you’re saying something to them and they’re responding. What the dancers did inspired the musicians to create solos to compensate (for) what the dancers were doing.
— Bill Dillard, musician

I have taught dance to a number of musicians over the years, including Seattle’s Greg Ruby. Greg has told me that learning even a little bit of lindy hop has helped him better understand how to play for dancers.

So, if you’re a dancer, dance to live music whenever you can. If you’re a musician, learn to dance!

MARK KIHARA