Think of learning to dance like getting into shape. When you are getting into shape, the most important thing you can do is to eat right. Next is working out. And you may take these even farther by getting a personal trainer and dietitian, taking supplements, going to a boot camp, etc. It really just depends on how in depth you want to take it.
The same is true for Lindy Hop and Swing dancing, or any dance for that matter.
1) The most important thing for learning how to dance is to actually go out and do it. That may seem counter intuitive to say that you should go out and do something that you do not know how to do, but just by going out and watching you will get to see what dancing looks like and see a picture of what you are shooting for in classes. Classes will only be able to show you little snippets of dancing, and without the big picture, you won't have a clue why you are learning what the teachers are showing you. Further, you should participate... watch what other people are doing and then mimic. Trust yourself, you can do it. By getting out there and trying, you will learn something about how to dance, guaranteed.
Going out dancing should be the meat and potatoes of your learning to dance.
And in Austin you are really fortunate! Going out swing dancing in Austin is like an extra healthy meal. There is a huge Lindy Hop scene here, with over 300 people that come out on any given Thursday to the Fed, some of whom travel the world to teach and compete. Check out the Austin Swing Syndicate. Hope to see you there!
2) Classes. Classes are like your work outs. You won't be able to gain muscles or lose weight nearly as easily without doing your work outs. And you won't be able to learn how to dance nearly as fast without classes.
There is a ton of great instruction in Austin every single week. The Lindy Project teaches every Wednesday and Monday night. Wednesdays we teach at our south location, Tapestry Dance Company, which is our biggest night of classes each week. And Mondays we teach at our north location, Austin Uptown Dance. Check out our full schedule of classes: The Lindy Project.
3) After getting the basics to your food and workouts, you can think about getting a personal trainer and dietitian, taking supplements, going to a boot camp, etc. Here are some extra things you can do to improve your dancing:
The Lindy Project teaches private lessons... you can focus on the intricacies of leading and following... new moves and styling... etc.
YouTube has a ton of videos on lindy hop, jazz, and just about everything under the sun. Watch a lot of videos! Steal moves... make them your own!
Attend workshop and competition weekends. There are a lot of really fun weekend workshops and competitions with classes and tons of dancing. These boot camps can greatly improve your dancing. Check out some suggestions.
Get started! Ask questions! Good luck!