WCS dancer doing Hustle


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I do WCS pretty regularly and have some actual training in it, but only had one very brief lesson on hustle ever. At mixed socials whenever a hustle comes up I often dance it but just kind of apply what I know of WCS to the hustle beat. What I was wondering is if real hustle dancers find this annoying or offensive. I don't have many opportunities to learn hustle besides at socials and was wondering if I shouldn't try to fake hustle and should learn it or just not dance it.

Phil Owl

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If anything, your knowledge of WCS can actually enhance what you do with Hustle. I doubt anyone would be annoyed or offended by what you do, if anything, pleasantly surprised. Definitely good to learn more Hustle stuff but from what you describe I wouln't worry about folks getting annoyed or offended at you. If someone gets snooty at you about your dancing, they're not the kind of folks you'd want to be around anyway.

Often, you can pick up things simply by watching.


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Think the biggest difference between WCS and hustle is the leading technique. There is much more tension in your hands when dancing hustle. So perhaps a diehard hustle follower can not really spead up with a WCS lead.


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That's great to hear. I'm a follower so being able to lead isn't such an issue. If I ever find an opportunity I'd love to take a hustle lesson, but money is short and most of my lessons come from other more advanced dancers.


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I'm not a die-hard hustle dancer, so I'm not really the one you're asking about offending, but I say go for it. The two are so interchangeable anyway--not just from one song to the next, but even within the same song. Just the other day I danced with one guy who slipped between one and the other throughout a song--once I realized why it felt strange and what was going on, it was no real issue. Also, IME, the more experienced the dancers are the more and more the lines blur between hustle and WCS (style notwithstanding)...although it seems that hustle becomes more like WCS, rather than the reverse.

As for you, so long as you keep either 12&3 or &123 in mind, and realize that once you get started THEY ARE BOTH COMPLETELY THE SAME, and are able to find that & count as you're being lead...you'll be fine. Just keep it slotted, rather than "rounded". No harm, no foul.
Not a hustle dancer -- I'm a westie who fakes it -- but...

From what I see watching wcs followers cross to hustle, the step that's going to give you away will be the breaking action. Westies tend to want to stay behind support, almost turning the movement into a rock step or an anchor, where hustle followers tend to stay above or maybe a hint in front of the step.

I have no idea as to whether a hustle lead finds this annoying or offensive, though.
Experienced swing dancers often switch from one style to another within a song. In fact, there comes a point at which the whole concept of "steps" can get thrown out, and it simply becomes a lead follow-dance with motions that cannot be neatly classified as lindy, ECS, WCS, etc. This does take a bit of experience, though.


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while buddy schwimmer is better known for developing NC2S, he also created west coast hustle. while west coast hustle did not catch on in popularlity some of the basic moves were incorporated into various WCS moves so there can be some crossover. having said that, wcs doesn't focus on shape the way hustle does. so if people are put off i imagine that they simply won't ask you to dance hustle in the future.

if anything, you put a couple dancing hustle next to a couple dancing salsa and turn off the music, the couples will look very similar.


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The mention of shaping in hustle reminded me of something else... Hustle, AFAIK, is predominantly danced in either a slotted fashion or a more rounded fashion. WCS is, of course, slotted. Trying to dance a rounded hustle in the middle of a crowded WCS floor is...um...not very nice. But if you're dancing a slotted hustle...it's not as if you're taking up more space or anything.


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I do know that in WCS it's a big deal to deviate from your slot, but hustle does seem to be more free form. That's a good point to remember when I'm mixing stuff up.
Check out these Hustle 101 lessons:
Nice videos. The 3 major flaws WCS followers who dabble in Hustle without having taken some lessons are shown in the videos...

- WCS dancers are instinctively back weighted (for the anchor) while Hustle dancers need to be forward poised to get the 4 steps completed in 3 counts.

- Many WCS followers also often don't realize the importance of religious counting the Hustle beat, and consequently dance behind, and sometimes ahead of, the music.

- Many WCS followers don't realize that to achieve the "quicker" movements in Hustle, the connection needs to be "softer" so that the partners are not compressing or leveraging much.

What one sees at many WCS events is the leader "over leading" the WCS follower in Hustle but that's to be expected. Usually, the dancers have a blast nevertheless.
Can WCS be converted into Hustle by taking out a triple step. The dance would become step-step-triple.

The reason this would be cool is that Hustle is losing favor because it's so darn hard to find people who are willing to learn it's 3 beat steps in a 4 step measure.

I'm finding few people to do the Hustle with and limited venues. Perhaps modifying Hustle this way would allow people to enjoy both types of dances.

Four beat Hustle looks almost like WCS.
Can WCS be converted into Hustle by taking out a triple step. The dance would become step-step-triple.
Leaves you wrong footed (odd number of weight changes).

You might be able do something if you play around enough - after all, basic hustle is eight weight changes in six beats, basic westie is eight weight changes in six beats. The only real difference in count is the middle triple....

1 2 &3 1 2 &3
1 2 &1 2 1 &2

So if you dance basic 6 count westie with a syncopated triple, you've got the rhythm.

If you think &123, it's a little weird, because the "start" of the pattern is in the middle of the westie basic. On the other hand, that starter-step that nobody in wcs ever uses is a pair of triples that do what you need.

&1 2 3 &1 2 3
&1 2 1 &2 1 2

So a starter step with a syncopated triple, followed by a six count basics with the same syncopated triples, matches the &1 hustle count.

It's not clear to me that this actually helps you
1) the feet are NOT the dance
2) you still don't have place playing the music you want
3) you still need to find partners
I sometimes have problems leading followers in Hustle who do not have much Hustle experience, but have WCS experience. Because they are used to anchoring, we fall behind the beat. Also, some don't pick up leads for underarm turns, returns to closed position, and a few other things.

OTOH, I admit to sometimes accidentally leading a WCS move while doing a Hustle, which causes similar confusion to a Hustle follower. If the follower knows (and likes) Swustle, it can turn into a fun experience. I would like to learn and do more Swustle.
4 count

Some very good points in the thread. I do find less tension/compression in hustle. I know it doesn't look that way but it feals so much better that way!!
It is Definitely harder to follow if your not a hustle dance. I dance
with my wife who's not a hustle dancer but a good wcser and she doesn't
get some leads. You can and do dance 4 counts when the songs get faster.
Ive took one lessen that was taught a 4 count. My last course was taught as
6 count; and 1 2 3 and 4 5 6. This really brings out the need to count the steps. Lastly in a another thread on WCS it was mentioned that the lead
sometime seam to stand still this is true in hustle too. He IS counting at least
and maybe shifting weight.

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