Hustle

In the late 1960's and throughout the 1970's, discotheques, or discos, with high quality sound systems and flashing lights became a popular form of entertainment in Europe and the U.S. Early 1970's dancing in discos was mostly freestyle dancing, similar to the “rock” style exhibited by pop stars of the day like The Jackson 5, along with the prerequisite dress code of bell-bottom pants and elevator shoes. 


In 1973, at a disco called The Grand Ballroom, a new type of “touch dance” without a name was being exhibited by females. This simple 6-count step with a very basic form, including inside and outside single turns, would give birth to what would later be called Hustle. 

Throughout the late 1970's, even though Hustle was still taught in many different forms (4-count Hustle, the Latin or Rope Hustle) by dance studios, the most exciting form was done by NYC club dancers and competitors who performed the 3-count count Hustle (&-1-2-3.). The NYC Hustle dancers from the 1970's paved the way for the rest of the Hustle community across the U.S. As it continued to evolve, Hustle began to borrow from other dance styles, including smooth ballroom from which it took traveling movements and pivots and partner dance forms such as Swing and the Latin rhythm dances. 


Hustle is danced to the contemporary pop dance music of the last 30+ years. It is a fast, smooth dance where the follower spins almost constantly, while her partner draws her close and sends her away. Free rhythmic interpretation is characteristic of this dance.

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