Learn About the
An American Rhythm Dance
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The Hustle, like the Swing is truly an American dance, but a modern invention.  It first appeared on the dance scene in the late-1970,s and maintained popularity until the late 1980's.  Saturday Night Fever, staring John Travolta kicked off the "touch" dance craze that launched the dance program Dance Fever, the 1970's dance version of the American Idol.  During the "Disco" decade many different Hustles were introduced on the streets and in the dance studios.  Dances like the New York Hustle, Manhattan Hustle, Merengue Hustle, Tango Hustle, Latin Hustle and many more.  There were entire studio dance programs just featuring this one dance.  The Hustle single-handedly brought the romance and fun of couples dancing back on the floor.

 The Hustle like the Jitterbug took on a very acrobatic appearance and was a very popular dance at the clubs and on the comp floors.  The music ranges from a slow sultry Latin sounding beat all the way to fast pulsing rhythms.  The Hustle is one of the most versatile of all of the American style dances.  As we head into a new millennium we still have two of the earlier Hustles surviving.  A Three Count and a Four Count version.


Fast, fun, rhythmical, high energy essential.

1. Rocking Actions, Whipping Actions,
2. Elevated leg/hip actions on "a" count
3. Subtle use of Rib-Cage action; Cuban Motion on steps depending on speed
4. Most patterns are danced in slots to accommodate crowded floors.
5. Maximize energy going down into floor not across floor.
6. Keep arms loose for lots of "double- hand" variations

American Footwork:

Side Actions are:    
                    Ball/Flat  -  Ball/Flat
Rocking Actions:

      3 Count Hustle
                  Ball      Ball/Flat 

      4 Count Hustle
                  Ball/Flat      Ball/Flat

Note 1.  In the  3 Count and 4 Count Hustles the "Back" Rocking heel may not lower depending on the speed of the music.

Note 2.  When dancing Turns & Whips the back or "hooking" foot should be placed with weight on the ball of  the foot only.  


3 Count:  25 - 30 MPM
4 Count:  30 - 38 MPM


 3 Count - 3 beats
4 Count - 4 beats

1     2      a       3 

1     1    1/2   1/2
1    2     3    4
1    1     1     1
Note 1. Above are the two main rhythmical variations still popular in the Hustle.  There are other counts that can be used with advanced elements.
This content is intended as general information and should not be used in lieu of an actual dance class to learn the aforementioned dance.

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