how would you all suggest the 1920's - 40's be learned... is it good to learn a few at the same time (ex. shag and lindy)? Which ones can be mixed together? Also, do ballroom dances like waltz mix with swing? Where does tap fit in to it?
Go with wherever your interests lay. Sure some fit together better than others, lindy hop, 20's Charleston,Balboa and Bal-Swing for instance. However you will prgoress more rapidly in dances that hold your attention.
Does waltz fit with lindy... well yes and no. Waltz and lindy use very different body movement and partner interaction but that isn't to say that learning waltz can't give you some insight into improving your lindy hop in one fashion or another, nor does it mean that you can't eventually learn how to incoporate some moves and movements into your lindy hop without looking like you have just broken out in a waltz.
Tap, particularly rhythm tap (sometimes known as a jazz, funk or hip-hop tap as oppossed to broadway tap) is very helpful when it comes to balance, timing, syncopatioins and an inheirent since of swing.
Nothing other than lindy hop is necessary, but the more you learn the more sources you have to draw from and the more sources you have to draw from the more uniqulely you your lindy hop will become.
Sorry, but I'm have problems understanding mixing waltz in with swing. The rhythm of the music seem too different to me, 3/4 as opposed to 4/4. Since Foxtrot is also even-count like swing, I am able to see that.
Ballroomyness new word to me. I'd assume you mean the posture and styling of ballroom dancing. Ballroom dancing one trys to rise up out of the floor and float on top of it. (latin this only refers to the upper body), in Lindy you dance into the floor, knees bent, hips back, pushing into, not off of the floor.
For me, to get into Lindy position when I was just starting out, the best way seemed to be to jump up (really) and relax myself as I landed on the balls of my feet.