Swing Discussion Boards > How to lead hustle?

Discussion in 'Swing Discussion Boards' started by bookish, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Er...what's a coaster step? I hear this talked about, but I really have no clue what it is.

    Maybe it's just me, but I was just kind of taught to follow by pushing each step, opening up fully to help with turn preps, never letting my shoulder go, and letting my momentum go where the leader sends me. Somehow that has always seemed to work...so long as I don't try to switch between WCS and hustle in the same evening, lol.
  2. Dancelf

    Dancelf Member

    A triple rhythm with a direction change. Skippy's Dance Dictionary implies that Coaster means specifically back together forward. While that's certainly true, you'll occasionally run into "forward coaster" for a foward-together-back look.

    For a coaster step, think steps 3&4 of a plain whip. For forward coaster, think 3&4 of a lock whip/basket whip.

    I wonder if Steve Pastor will tell us how well documented the Karma Haltom story is. It matches the legend as I learned it, although I didn't have the name right.
  3. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Oh. Thanks!

    In that case, I have encountered both variations with both timings.
  4. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member


    I live in NY, so I learned &123. I went dancing in Detroit, which is a 12&3 town. I had no problem adjusting. And the "popping" problem popped up as much in Detroit as it does in NY. IME, popping is a dancer issue, not a count issue.
  5. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    What exactly is this "popping", by the way?
  6. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    Some dancers pop up on the &. Makes for a non-smooth hustle.
  7. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Some dance a WCS sugar push with a coaster instead of a tap.
  8. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i wonder if i do that... i think of it as a "down" in order to sling-shot out, so i'm hoping not, as that would surely be counter-productive to the physics involved...:rolleyes:
  9. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Regarding Coast Step - Lauré Haile, who "wrote the book" on "Western Swing" (aka West Coast Swing). Her written materials did not have a forward step in her descriptions of the Coaster Step. If you did a forward step, it was called a "Twinkle". Skippy did not learn directly from Haile, but from an Arthur Murray trainer, Jerry Ehrhart.

    SKippy's description of how Karma Haltom "coasted" is no doubt accurate. However, that swivel thing goes back to Savoy / Frankie Manning days, as decribed in his autobiography. You can REALLY see it in the movie "Playmates" when Jewel McGowan really lays it on! The swivel part is now mostly used in Lindy, although after you see Jewel do it in Playmates...

    That part about where your body is going rather than what your feet are doing (in Skippy's text) is a key thing in her teaching and analysis of dance(s).

    From Raper's Who's Who in Swing (a great resource!)

    Karma Haltom Television Variety Shows:
    ....... Arthur Murray Show (......)
    1950s Colgate Comedy Hour
    1993 California Swing Dance Hall of Fame, Golden Star Nomination
    1992 California Swing Dance Hall of Fame, Golden Star Nomination
    1995 California Swing Dance Hall of Fame, Golden Star Nomination
  10. Dancelf

    Dancelf Member

    To clarifiy - the original syllabus by Lauré had no forward movement, then after that the syllabus was changed to describe Karma's movement, and after that the usual game of telephone corrupted the description of the movement.

    Do I have that right?
  11. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    we've definitely strayed far from the OP's question, lolz...
  12. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome to DF!
    Threads are like conversations. You never know where they will lead.

    Can't say for sure if we have access to Haile's "original notes". Skippy (and tangotime) both have said no one was ever allowed to see "the notes". I don't know why she would redefine Coaster Step at a later date, though.
    Skippy has written that she is working from her own notes, not printed copies of something. Even use of the term "coaster step" was not consistent in the early 60s, when there ARE published descriptions.
  13. bookish

    bookish Active Member

    Are there examples online of 12&3 danced with coasters? On YouTube I have mostly found lots of &123. The two examples of 12&3 I've found so far seem to use mostly ball-changes, maybe a few coasters (a ball-change doesn't become a coaster if the front foot moves forward a couple inches, does it?)

  14. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    When you watch those &123 videos, instead of counting &123, count &321, and it will magically become whatever it is danced in 12&3.
  15. rbazsz

    rbazsz New Member

    This youtube video is really good:

    Ramero Gonzales, Barry Douglas & Joyce Stoughton

    This one is also great

    Hustle Practice @ Troy Dance Studio

    I don't think this is off topic as somebody else said. The style of Hustle you choose for lessons is very important because it's very difficult to change once you get more advanced. I have seen good follows adapt to both styles but it's far more difficult for leads.
  16. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    I think samina was commenting on our side bar on the coaster step, which we took to PMs.
  17. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    I agree, this has gone off question. FWIW, nobody does 4-count hustle in my area (Philly area), so I can't speak to that.

    Anyway, bookish, I've been taking hustle lessons with a nationally ranked competitor/teacher and she's excellent. She is teaching us to be able to stop on three. That is, if you're doing three-count hustle, don't just automatically do "and-1" all the time, because that limits what kinds of patterns you can lead or follow. So I guess the back break would technically be led, even if it happens most of the time or all of the time at a beginning dance level.

    In any case, I am hardly the expert. Best thing would be to find a really good hustle teacher in your area. The International Hustle Dance Association is a good start. They are an organization composed of most of the top people in the field. Good luck. :)
  18. toothlesstiger

    toothlesstiger Well-Known Member

    That's a reassuring list, one of the people I learned from was on it. ;-)
  19. bookish

    bookish Active Member

    Thanks for the help. I just had another social tonight and thought I should report back. It went well -- I was feeling more comfortable and "on" than last time in general, and some of my favorite partners were there. I made myself dance all the hustles.

    As far as the similarity between WCS and hustle, I'm still not really getting it. I'm sure it's there somewhere. I did benefit from the advice that I don't have to lead the generation of the follower's momentum, but again, that seems like a difference from WCS not a similarity.

    Now, ECS on the other hand... I danced quite a bit of that too, and noticed parallels. Does anyone else think they are more similar? Basic ECS turn patterns transfer over pretty easily (unlike the basket whip, which I'm going to keep working on in hustle), and the lead for them seems sort of similar (correcting for smoother horizontal movement and no triples). The rock step (sted ball-change) also seems to make ECS more similar than WCS with its momentum-generating back-back.

    I got a little &123 practice but it was mostly 4-count. Does the follower basically need to know 3-count well for it to work at all? I'm not sure I can lead it otherwise. I tried a couple times (with followers who said they'd follow "whatever" when I asked them what they preferred) and felt them lagging behind the music, and I ended up somewhere in between them and the music. Switching to 4-count made the entire dance feel much smoother (and, interestingly, 4-count no longer felt "sluggish" tonight, as it had previously). (I just looked back through the thread and Dancelf's comment about people switching to 3-count "when they are ready to dance a ball-change instead of a rock-step" seems relevant here).

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