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Hustle Dance Style


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Hustle DanceLike Swing dancing, the Hustle went through many variations during the course of its popularity, although its styles did not survive the test of time, so to speak, in the same way that Swing did. The Hustle evolved in the 1970's in the underground Puerto Rican and black dance communities of New York and Miami before it hit the mainstream public.

The Hustle could be danced in many different ways, with movements for the solo dancer, line dances for large groups of people, and partnership dances as well that included its own varieties; such as the Basic Hustle, Latin, Spanish, and Tango Hustle, in addition to another kind of Hustle that evolved in California as the popular Street Hustle, or Three-Count or Swing Hustle. Hustle dancing is characterized by fast moving patterns with lots of turning and expressive arm movements as well as big, personal style.

The New York Hustle is to the hustle dancer, what the Lindy was the the swing dancer decades before. Like west coast swing, the hustle is a smooth dance that keeps on going and places spotlight on the lady, whose turning actions and movements are larger and more showy than those of the leader. But this doesn't mean there was any less appeal for the leader to shake his groove thing. Hustle dancing was made famous and grossly popular, especially for men, with the release of the song "The Hustle" by Van McCoy in 1976, and the making of John Travolta's Hustle/Disco tribute in "Saturday Night Fever."

American media popularized the dance groove with promotion of such shows as Dancing Disco in Boston, Disco Fever, American Bandstand, Disco Magic in Miami, and Soul Train in Los Angelas. Today, if anyone is caught doing the Hustle, it is often the Three-Count Hustle, or the New York hustle. The other Hustle styles appear to have dissipated over the years due to such a large variety and non-standardization of the dance form.

The Disco Era brought forth quite a few popular songs that are still played today, like "Turn the Beat Around," by Vickie Sue Robinson, "YMCA" by the Village People, and "Love to Love You, Baby," by Donna Summer. Even today, artists like Lady Gaga, still pay tribute to the classic seventies disco era, with the release of her song, "Disco Heaven."


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