A Description Of Hustle Dancing
Hustle is an American dance which originated in the 1970s. It is traditionally danced to club hits of both the 1970s as well as contemporary times. The dance is designed to be highly dynamic, flashy, and powerful. Although it's movement history is rooted in a 6 count basic, the final form of the dance is a 3 count basic with some extended patterns and syncopations.
Some history of Hustle: The birth of Hustle partner dancing seems to have simultaneously occurred in New York City and other metropolitan city night-clubs in the United States during the early 1970s. At the point of its origination, it was a 6 count dance which was counted 1, 2, 3&4, 5, 6. According to dancers such as Billy Fajardo, "as things got more competitive in the night-clubs, the guys wanted to add more tricks to their patterns. In order to do so, dancers abbreviated the 6 count pattern to just keep the &4, 5, 6 portion. This changed the basic form of the dance to be counted &1, 2, 3."
The popularity of Hustle dancing during the mid 1970s can not be overstated. It was the main theme at numerous night-clubs throughout the country. Music for the dance consisted of Funk and the new sounds of Disco and always had strong beats which would later become the branches for House music, Pop music, Club remixes, slow Trance and even Lounge music.
Songs like Van McCoy's 1975 hit, "The Hustle" and movies like the 1977 Saturday Night Fever capitalized on the popularity of the Hustle dance craze. Unfortunately, some people thought and still think the song and movie define Hustle, a problem which plagues Hustle enthusiasts still to present day.
According to all dancers from the 1970s, the Hustle dance was intimately linked to the night clubs / Discotheques. Famous locations were Studio 54, Ipanema (240 West 52nd Street), Boomba, Roseland, Inferno and Starship.
Today dancers from the former era are still passing on their knowledge to younger dancers. The dance is relatively new as far as partner dances are concerned. This means that the Hustle of today has evolved since its first steps. Tempos today are a little slower than fast disco versions that burned out the dance in the early 1980s and the dance has been refined in every way. Music still ranges from classics from the original era to contemporary radio remixes and club house music.
Even though Hustle has been bastardized on shows like "So You Think You Can Dance" to be called Disco (such as by choreographer Doriana Sanchez who butchers movements from the movie Saturday Night Fever), Hustle still remains a partner dance (not a line-dance) that is used both socially and competitively throughout the country. Hustle is still the best dance to impress your friends within 30 seconds or less.