Hustle Defined

Date added to ADN: Tue, February 21, 2012
Originally Published: Sun, January 01, 2012
by The AccessDance Network (About the Author)

Who wouldn't forget the infamous movie 'Saturday Night Fever' starring John Travolta with his legs apart and finger pointing in the air position matched with his white suit? This was the season of the hustle hype. Hustle is the ideal dance for nightclub, dance-beat music.

New York is said to have been the birthplace of hustle in the 1970s. It went through many variations, with line dances for groups and also partnership dances. Just as the hustle line dance was derived from another dance form called Merengue, the partner version was based on Latin dances like the Samba and Mambo. The recording by Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony of the song entitled Hustle (from their album Disco baby in 1975) was said to propel the world on a hustle spree. The release of several shows and movies like Saturday Night Fever in 1977 and Thank God It's Friday starring Donna Summer the following year had boost the popularity of the dance. Although its fame faded quickly as the hype of John Travolta's movie died down, the hustle continued to become a 'ballroom dance' taking its place beside swing, cha-cha, tango and other partner dances in America.

The hustle is popular for its fast moving patterns with several turns. It is also characterized by fancy arm styling and big presentation lines. The basic foot pattern is quite simple. The step timing is performed by doing a series of two quick steps alternately taking ½ beat of music, and two slow steps taking a full beat of the music. It has sets of two forward steps and two backward steps done in an alternating manner often called out as 'ball-change, walk, walk, ball-change'. However, the diversity and versatility of the hustle makes it the hustle where the steps are derived and borrowed freely from other dance styles. If you are dancing to disco music with a vivacious beat and you spin your partner around the dance floor, you are definitely doing the hustle.

Popular disco music of the 1970s like 'Stayin' Alive', 'Night Fever', 'More than a Woman' by Bee Gees and 'Love to Love You Baby' by Donna Summer are just some of the perfect dance beats for hustle. Hustle is usually associated with retro disco classics but it can also be performed with modern music like rap and hip-hop. The ideal tempo range for beginners is 100 to 125 beats per minute.

Abraham Lincoln once said, 'Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle'. So what are you waiting for? Do the hustle!

About the Author:
Providing information for Ballroom Dance Lessons, Activities, Dance Competitions and News of the Dance Industry.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the AccessDance Network. Be aware that imagery is copyrighted and often licensed for use on AccessDance only. Copying of images is strictly prohibited.

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