Does Anyone Do Hustle Anymore?

#1
The title of this thread quotes the owner of a successful local dance studio in my area and I thought it was an interesting topic for discussion.

This studio specializes in salsa but also offers ballroom, WCS & AT. The owner is seeking to promote WCS further, because it can be danced to current pop music and therefore presumably could have appeal to the relatively young salsa demographic. In fact, I noticed several salsa dancers at this studio's recent WCS dance and they seemed interested to learn WCS as a nice change of pace. On the other hand, the studio owner seemed to feel that hustle just doesn't have relevance anymore.

This was an interesting statement considering there was a well-attended hustle competition in my area only last weekend. It seems to me that hustle has a very devoted core of fans, but perhaps is not growing as much in popularity as WCS. I've noticed very little hustle discussion on this forum as well.

Now, I should tell you that I prefer WCS to hustle myself, despite the fact that I love disco and dance music. I've talked to both dancers and non-dancers and we all seem to agree where current hustle lacks appeal:

a. hustle has lost its funkiness & feeling; has become too mechanical
b. 3-count timing doesn't go well with the music
c. over stylized - what's with the "ballet arms"? Looks corny

Opinions, anyone?
 

Spitfire

Well-Known Member
#3
I don't do Hustle myself, but it's popular at the ballroom dances that I attend in Tucson, Phoenix and Flagstaff. There was even some Hustle at the Phoenix 4th of July WCS Convention this past week at their final evening dance.
 
#4
To clarify - I'm not trying to bash hustle, nor claim that it isn't done anymore. I dance a little hustle myself. And I live in a region where hustle is pretty popular. My question is really about its growth potential and its appeal to new or younger dancers. I do notice a much older average age among hustle dancers than for WCS.
 

chachachacat

Well-Known Member
#5
Hustle Hater

I hate hustle. Hustle is PASSE`! Over!

Even though I loved disco in its era, and wanted to dance hustle then,
I don't see any reason to keep it alive now. It's dated. And I've been hurt having my arms yanked around, while the guy just stands there!

West Coast Swing, OTOH,suits many tempos of music and is fun, and the woman has the freedom to play which she doesn't have in other dances.
 

cornutt

Well-Known Member
#6
There was a bronze hustle class at our studio tonight, and I counted 14 people. Might have joined it myself if it hadn't been at the same time as the silver smooth class.
 

Spitfire

Well-Known Member
#7
I once took a hustle class which was one night a week for six weeks. I enjoyed the class and it was fun there, but when doing it at the dance parties I found that I really didn't enjoy the dance after all. WCS is more suitable to me.
 
#8
Usual disclaimer - I don't understand hustle at all, I just fake it.

a. hustle has lost its funkiness & feeling; has become too mechanical
b. 3-count timing doesn't go well with the music
c. over stylized - what's with the "ballet arms"? Looks corny

Opinions, anyone?
a) I'm not sure if that is the specific problem, but I'll agree that something is missing. My own impression is that it has lost touch with the music. When specific dancers have been pointed out to me for their expertise in hustle, I've been pretty unimpressed; one of the rules I've learned is that if the movement looks lousy when executed by the professional, the recreational amateur should do something else.

Now, I'm not a regular in the hustle scene, so maybe I've been watching the wrong people (Billy Fajardo probably counts). And I have seen hustle danced exquisitely well (random couple on the floor at Boston Tea Party, many moons ago), so I know that it is possible.

b) I saw a demonstration six years ago that showed how an amateur's hustle changed when counted in 2 instead of in 3. The footwork/timing doesn't change, but the coordination of the movement and the music gets a lot better. But counting that way is weird

c) ballet arms may be corny, but dancers hitting their lines look awesome. Maybe you don't like that, or maybe you do like that, but the dancers are doing something else, or maybe the dancers aren't good enough to make it look right. Or something I haven't thought of.
 
#9
I learned hustle before WCS, but found I liked WCS much much more.

You can pretty much WCS to anything you could hustle to, but you definitely can't hustle to everything you can WCS to.

Additionally hustle is so staccato that there isn't much interest or time for playing around with the timing (stretching things out, syncopating, etc.).

(I actually like the 3-count timing because it lets you be more flexible about the timing of moves, rather than being tied rigidly to the measure. Sticking to the measure makes more sense with more complex music; but when the rhythm is as simple - dare I say boring - as it is in disco music, I think the 3-count step actually adds a bit of interest.)

Most importantly for me, WCS leaves lots and lots of room for follower-initiated improvisation, which I absolutely adore.

Overall I find WCS much more flexible, variable, and interesting than hustle, and it covers almost all of the same musical territory... so now I feel like, why would I hustle when I can WCS instead? There's actually a relatively lively and skillful hustle scene in my local area, but I get pretty bored dancing hustle all evening.
 

wooh

Well-Known Member
#11
For me:
Hustle=fun.
WCS=weird. Looks weird. Feels weird. And to prove it's not just weird, it's dated, the guys always wear a big satin shirt with a polyester vest and pants, how 70s is that?:p
Of course, this is on the the swing part of the board, so I'm probably going to be in the minority on this thread thinking that.:)
 
#12
For me:
Hustle=fun.
WCS=weird. Looks weird. Feels weird. And to prove it's not just weird, it's dated, the guys always wear a big satin shirt with a polyester vest and pants, how 70s is that?:p
Of course, this is on the the swing part of the board, so I'm probably going to be in the minority on this thread thinking that.:)
Huh? Since when do WCS guys wear big satin shirts & polyester? I've rarely seen that, except for a few showcase comp routines (in which case, the hustle guys dressed like that too). In social dance and even in most comps, I've seen WCS guys wearing normal dress shirts and pants.
 

samina

Well-Known Member
#13
All depends on the dance community one is exposed to, I guess.

What's great about hustle and WCS is that you can take those skills and apply improvisationally to any kind of music or scene. Great foundational partner-dancing skills for having lots of interpretive fun.
 
#14
For me:
Hustle=fun.
WCS=weird. Looks weird. Feels weird. And to prove it's not just weird, it's dated, the guys always wear a big satin shirt with a polyester vest and pants,
Huh?? Isn't it the *hustle* guys who are always wearing 70s-looking clothing? To go with their 70s dance?

WCS dancers always seem to wear very casual street clothes - not 'dancewear' at all (except for their shoes), from what I've seen.
 
#15
I know the hustle, but I don't like anything about it. I don't like the moves, I don't like the outfits, and I don't like the music.

I won't turn someone down if they ask me to dance it, though. ;)
 
#17


So everything I know is from SYTYCD, but SATIN SHIRTS GALORE!!!!

:) I love SYTYCD! But as mentioned, those costumes represent 'showcase' style (which is Benji/Heidi's specialty and I believe Jamie's also). Showcase WCS is a choreographed routine with lifts and tricks and is meant to be flashy and Vegas-y. Besides, SYTYCD is a TV show, so the glitzy costumes make sense visually. Other kinds of WCS don't use this style of costume that much.
 
#19
Dance Crazes

The title of this thread quotes the owner of a successful local dance studio in my area and I thought it was an interesting topic for discussion.

This studio specializes in salsa but also offers ballroom, WCS & AT. The owner is seeking to promote WCS further, because it can be danced to current pop music and therefore presumably could have appeal to the relatively young salsa demographic. In fact, I noticed several salsa dancers at this studio's recent WCS dance and they seemed interested to learn WCS as a nice change of pace. On the other hand, the studio owner seemed to feel that hustle just doesn't have relevance anymore.

This was an interesting statement considering there was a well-attended hustle competition in my area only last weekend. It seems to me that hustle has a very devoted core of fans, but perhaps is not growing as much in popularity as WCS. I've noticed very little hustle discussion on this forum as well.

Now, I should tell you that I prefer WCS to hustle myself, despite the fact that I love disco and dance music. I've talked to both dancers and non-dancers and we all seem to agree where current hustle lacks appeal:

a. hustle has lost its funkiness & feeling; has become too mechanical
b. 3-count timing doesn't go well with the music
c. over stylized - what's with the "ballet arms"? Looks corny

Opinions, anyone?
The two Hustles that I know are Rope and Swing.

Swing Hustle is the 3 count Hustle that you see in Saturday Night Fever - it's very 70s. But this style has kinda been revived with Germany's DiscoFox. They also have a very strong DiscoFox comp scene there too.

The Rope Hustle is the 4 count Hustle that is basically Modern Jive - very popular in France, Oz and UK. People say the Modern Jive developed in France from after WW2 (when the Americans brought the Swing over). It is also known with the trademark name Cerock. But the Rope Hustle and Modern Jive are so similar and they have exactly the same basic steps that I think they are nothing but the same dance.

I have also been to a French 'rock 'n roll' class but it was just a single swing- and, funny enough, the Swedes call this same dance 'Bugg'. And the North Norwegian Swing is just a remake of the Rock-a-billy Jive.

So I guess the world is continually 'reviving' and 'reshaping' dances - kind of like playing Chinese whispers. But its great fun travelling the world and seeing each countries 'new dance craze'. ;)
 

Angel HI

Well-Known Member
#20
Hustle is very popular in all 3 of my locales, and probably for all of the reasons that Sam mentioned in her post. Great dance, IMO.
 

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