A recent email from Allen Hall (part-time Minnesota resident, and otherwise traveling lindy hopper along with his adorable wife Rudy) stated:
The recent competitive success of pairs who don’t do aerials, but otherwise, make the best of tightly crafted routines, based on solid dancing by both partners, using controlled body isolation; lots of understated but cute moves, fresh music at moderate tempos, while paying attention to one another, is, I believe, a big move in the right direction for Lindy Hop. It emphasizes an element of dance that the average social dancer can aspire to, and with hard work and some talent, can achieve. Well done unusual aerials are always an Ohhhh Ahhhh! factor in Lindy, but to depend on them for competitive success is doing Lindy Hop no favors, and acrobatics taken to an extreme by too many pairs, may result in judges who become sick of them.
I have to say, for me personally, I couldn’t agree more. I have gotten tired in recent years of watching couples who are flashy ranking ahead of couples with superior dancing skills but who don’t do as many aerials. I think the general rule of more aerials = higher rankings will always hold true for the “non-professional” competitions out there. (That’s a bad word. I mean the ones that are judged by non-dancers.) But hopefully this trend of couples who don’t do aerials winning contests will continue!