The Hustle is a partner dance that comes from disco dancing, and it is one of my favorites, featuring fast, energetic motion and lots of turns.
The lady is spinning almost constantly while her partner pulls her in and out, similar to features of swing dance.
The music is what makes this dance so much fun. Who doesn’t like ’70s music?
Studio 54 of New York City was made famous, thanks to the hustle and the disco style.
In the clubs and discos of the ’70s, freestyle dancing was popular. Partners weren’t required. It was easy to just move to the music in one’s own way.
The name “hustle” came from a line dance of the same name. Line dances generally were danced solo.
In 1973, at The Grand Ballroom disco, young women used steps from the line dance and created their own version of a touch dance. A mix of Latin and swing dancing, it was a simple six-count step, with inside and outside turns.
The young men in the club took an interest, and the dance began to gain popularity. The Hustle soon became a couple’s dance.
You might remember seeing it in the movie “Saturday Night Fever.”
The Hustle was mostly popular in New York City but became popular and spread across the U.S. in 1974 and 1975.
Dance contests were popping up in every city. The Hustle can be danced to the contemporary pop music of the last 20 years.
The Hustle eventually developed into a competitive partner dance. There are several competitions throughout the U.S. and overseas as well exclusively for the Hustle.
Ballroom dance has now adopted the Hustle as one of its competitive dances, along with ChaCha, Salsa, Samba, Mambo and others.
Hustle has always been a crowd pleaser. In fact, it inspired me to build an entire showcase around it one year.
Hustle embraces colorful costumes, lively music and makes for a very visually exciting show.
Hustle can be done socially and competitively in ballrooms and night clubs, and it’s easy to learn because the music drives it.
Sandro Virag is a partner and instructor at Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Hilton Head, located in Bluffton at Seaquins Ballroom. www.fredastairehiltonhead.com