Why is 4-count Hustle looked down on?

Partner Dancer

Well-Known Member
#27
Wow! This is really really interesting and it echoes exactly what tangotime up above said. I keep trying to picture the merengue (the two-step dance) looking similar to Hustle but can't really see it. Would it be more like a "back-and-forth" merengue with a break-step on the "1"? If so-- then I am starting to see it.

That is a really interesting take-away and visual!
Merengue is a 1-step-per-beat dance phrased in 8. "4-count" (really straight-count)
Hustle generally works in the same way, with slower music so movements can be
smoothed out (compared to the faster music of Merengue that promotes choppier
movements).

This is classic Disco dancing near its infancy...

Note how it's just "straight" count movement, nicely phrased in 8. By today's
standards, the dancing is not spectacular, but it is smooth, cool, and has very
decent connection. The couple is "dancing with each other" rather than doing
some "sport."

Wow... so there are multiple 3-count Hustle styles?
As Steve Pastor posted on Richard Power's write-up, Hustle, just like most dances, has its
history and mutations. Swing, and its dozens of variations, is particularly note-able in this
as well. I believe people generally believe Hustle is a spin-off of Salsa/Mambo.

I was really thinking about the "schools" of 3-count Hustle (the last bold-face item listed in
Power's article), as practiced by people in various regions. Power's descriptions don't
even reflect a lot of common usage these days, as "New York Hustle" is just one of the
several 3-count schools.

The actual point I was making was that because 3-count Hustle is technically difficult (to
do well), there are Hustlers who prefer to stay within the "school/pool" he/she is in
rather than having to put up with the idiosyncrasies of other schools.

Pretty much the same as a IS Waltz dancer who may not do AS Waltz or Country Waltz
(or vice versa). Except the overall pool size of Waltz dancers far exceeds that of
Hustle dancers.


Okay. So WCS has changed itself to be more adaptive to Hustle by simplifying their repertoire somewhat?
Can you elaborate a bit more on the "hold/time/walking" steps? Are you referring to the NY Walk steps? And are you saying this is preferable because the spinning and constant movement of Hustle is too much for a follower throughout a whole song? Sorry, I am not trying to be a dunce, I'm just trying to clarify this in my brain as a 1-month beginner myself to this dance.
WCS has traditionally been more of a "stagnant" dance because it is a "walking" dance
and made a lot of use of dead anchors (which kills the momentum/fluidity/energy).
They've just been adding more "technique" to have movement be more continuous,
to adapt to music that is more continuous (as Hustle music is always). It's not
"simplifying the repertoire" but rather "adding to the repertoire."

NY Walk (and any of the walk stuff) is one. By hold/time steps, I mean anything where
the dancers are in-place (not traveling/turning/spinning), such as the in-place basic or
"feet shine" steps (where one or both partners are in-place doing feet/leg "tricks").

It's not a matter of preferable, but rather one of necessity. Most followers simply can't
keep spinning continuously and need breaks. The ratio of "continuous movement"
and "resting movement" is one factor characterizing a dance. For Hustle and IS VW (and
most of the Swing-type dances [including Polka]), the ratio is (or should be) high. In
contrast, dances like WCS and Merengue (etc.) are extremely forgiving in that there is
plenty of "resting movement" opportunities (if desired); the ratio _could_ be very low.

The 3-count Hustle schools have set the bar on Hustle pretty high. There is this notion
that unless the follower can do decent wrap-turns (1.5 turns in 3 beats), they are not
really dancing "good" Hustle. Try doing a dozen continual wrap-turns and perhaps you will
see the challenge.


This is awesome information! So minimizing of one's movement in the slot with the partner, light connection but perpetual movement with great balance is a must? I think I understand
Yup. Really true of _any_ dance. It's called "good control" through understanding of
timing, balance, position, connection, posture, texture, musicality, etc..

Do you think the "physical demand" of Hustle is something that will present problems in the future for those who would like to dance to modern music but a little bit more relaxed? I have heard of followers in my class complain of feeling like they've been through a washing machine after dancing with some guys, due to the excessive amount of turns.
It's not a future problem. It's a current one. One major reason Hustle is not popular
is that it's too technically tough. There's plenty of great music for dancing Hustle,
both classic and contemporary.

I particularly like how in Salsa-- although they do a lot of turns today also-- they do that closed "Cuban hold" to let the dance slow down and (I guess you could say) "breathe" a little more before going into the next sequence of turns. Do you ever see Hustle doing something similar one day?
Yup. Salsa allows for the low ratio. But the good Salsa dancers certainly
don't need to "breathe" much (because they already get to rest in that
hold count [4 for Salsa on 1, 1 for Salsa on 2]).

Hustle can certainly allow for a lower ratio (and it has been doing so), but at some
point, why bother, as one might as well be doing WCS.

Likewise, I'm not much of a fan of hesitation/canter/etc. steps in IS VW (and
AS to some degree), as the entire fluidity/flow of the dance (the major
premise/attraction of the dance) is sacrificed. If one is going to lower the
ratio, then one might as well be doing slow Waltz.

It's all a matter of developing/understanding better technique.
 
Last edited:

Angel HI

Well-Known Member
#28
Bumping the old orig post,
I understand that 3-count is the proper way to do it,

But Hustle is practically a dead dance with hardly any enthusiastic newcomers.
Just needed to iterate that neither of these things are correct, and are, in fact, HUGE mis-statements!

4-Count is the layman's term given to the dance that most called "Disco Swing". I was in NY for a period during the "Hustle' era, and was told that the half count (3-Count) was added to make the danced more adaptable to Latin and Worldbeat rhythms which were becoming ever more popularly mixed into Disco. (see TangoTime's post)

Hmmm... do you feel the relevance of Hustle will ever come back?
Make no mistake; the relevance of Hustle has never left! It is a Swing dance that has given birth or rise to many other variations (NY Hustle, LA Hustle, Latin Hustle, Chicago, someone mentioned Michigan, and on, and on, and on). 4 Count, when danced well, is still a very nice club style dance.
 
#30
I learned Detroit Hustle by a teacher in Arizona that came from Detroit.

In theory a good follow should not care if she is doing NY or Detroit, but in practice they wanted nothing to do with me!. Since most dancers in the Phoenix area do NY I was very frowned upon. I just gave up Hustle because I didn't want to spend the time to learn NY style.

The local follows wanted nothing to do with Detroit style. Perhaps Hustle was pushing their skills so much they didn't want to bother with something that felt slightly different.

When I went to WCS I found that the dance was more universally adopted and it could be used for a much wider variety of music, so I have never felt the need to revisit Hustle.
 
#31
Makes sense! One would think that with the popularity of the EDM scene today that Hustle's come back would be very strong.
You would think. EDM and Hustle would seem to be a happy marriage. However most of the Hustle dancers left don't like EDM so they continue to use Disco. It's mostly young moshers that listen to EDM and Hustle is way too difficult for their short attentions spans.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#32
.


.








But the good Salsa dancers certainly


don't need to "breathe" much (because they already get to rest in that
hold count [4 for Salsa on 1, 1 for Salsa on 2]).


.
"Good " salsa dancers do NOT hold "4" ( Son being the exception ) Is it taught that way ?..yes, but, really good dancers learn how to "blend" the beats, and good teachers, teach "How" .

This is not to say that, one could not be static for 1 beat, but the teaching of QQ-Hold, is an anathema, to fluidity.
 
#33
The statement says "they already get to rest in that hold count." Where
does it say they (have to) freeze/hold to rest? The count is the "hold"
count, as in "1-2-3_hold, 5-6-7_hold."
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#34
The statement says "they already get to rest in that hold count." Where
does it say they (have to) freeze/hold to rest? The count is the "hold"
count, as in "1-2-3_hold, 5-6-7_hold."
That, is my point !..there should be no "rest " as in hold ".This "stop, start method", is frowned upon by most salseros in general, and harks back to the way old school mambo was taught .

The advances in teaching techniques have changed, and the "blending " of beats ,is now de riguer . I had over 20 years teaching the old method , and have now ,not used it for the past 30 some years .

I still see the old method taught in the UK ( usually by un trained dancers/teachers (?) .
 
#35
That, is my point !..there should be no "rest " as in hold ".This "stop, start method", is frowned upon by most salseros in general, and harks back to the way old school mambo was taught .

The advances in teaching techniques have changed, and the "blending " of beats ,is now de riguer . I had over 20 years teaching the old method , and have now ,not used it for the past 30 some years .

I still see the old method taught in the UK ( usually by un trained dancers/teachers (?) .
People figure out how to do things "easier" over time. Generally, technique
improves over years/decades towards better efficiency. But unfortunately,
sometimes in the name of "sports" or the market forces to complicate
things or make things more difficult (translate - $$$ for lessons and
competition), things go the other way.

As for "resting" on the "hold count," of course there is such a thing.
Movement is always cyclic, wth energy/focus going from one part
of the body to another and back (typically bottom to top to bottom).
For Salsa, the hold count corresponds to a "stopping" of the feet,
while energy/focus shifts to the torso/top, which gives one a
chance to rest. There is no total "freezing" (as the case with
any dance, really, with contemporary technique). A good analogy
is a car doing a rolling stop rather than a dead stop (from a physics
standpoint, it's the difference between dynamic friction verses
static friction). Even in IS VW, where movement is highly continuous,
the "rest" comes near count 3; without the slow down on 3, one
can't power up on 1 or drift/float on 2.

My observation is that lots of (perhaps most) dancers don't know how
to use their upper bodies or coordinate their upper bodies with their
lower. They mostly dance below the waist.

The amount of poor teaching out there way outweigh the amount of
good. But, that reflects the desire of students, where most just
want to learn/collect patterns.
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#36
As for "resting" on the "hold count," of course there is such a thing.




For Salsa, the hold count corresponds to a "stopping" of the feet,
while energy/focus shifts to the torso/top, which gives one a
chance to rest.



.
The question is not whether or no there is "stopping " is of course, because people are taught that way. THAT, is the problem.. There is no where , other than moves that, require the man to be "static ", but even in those cases ( CBL for ex. )where a "pause " in travel is called for, there is motion .
The very word "stop", to my mind, is fraught with dance danger.

A basic needs to be fluid .I have had more students here ( since I left the States ) who have attended my classes/Private lessons, where I had to re- design their basics, from Hold to Frame, and timing. Without question, each and everyone, remarked how different it felt,not to even mention the visual effect .

Learning how to "blend " progressive movements is never easy, but, the effort and results, justify time spent.

Making excuses about poor teaching techn, does not. should not, validate the quality of "teaching ?", one comes across , because of it.

Lastly.. I'm more than well aware , of how students are "conditioned" and attracted to, the "flash and trash" of dance in general, it's todo mundo .

By the way, I do NOT teach the BR style of latin (?)..
 
Last edited:
#37
The question is not whether or no there is "stopping " is of course, because people are taught that way. THAT, is the problem.. There is no where , other than moves that, require the man to be "static ", but even in those cases ( CBL for ex. )where a "pause " in travel is called for, there is motion .
The very word "stop", to my mind, is fraught with dance danger.
I think "danger" is a little over-statement, but dead-stopping is certainly annoying.

A very tell-tale sign of "too much static" is lack of feet articulation, where a dancer
just plops a foot down rather than place it (on ball or heel first, and committing
just a tidbit later) so there'd be room/time for "adjustment," to compensate for
one's own and the partner's overall/ultimate weight placements (since upper
body shifting will cause "rolling" of foot even when not displacing it). Similarly,
a dancer that always dances on the balls of the feet without landing the heels
(when appropriate) will have problems slowing down and speeding up under
"natural" control, not to mention be risking injury.

I'd say pretty much all partner dancers who have not had Ballroom training have
poor or no feet articulation, and many that do have Ballroom training still have
misconceptions about footwork (not the artificial ball/heel/flat stuff they teach
in bronze), in particular the utility of it.

I've taken hundreds of group classes on general moving for dancing (walking drills,
etc.), in all genres/styles of dance, and it's a pretty sad case that none of them
(that I can recall) ever even explicity relate how the lower body and upper body
work together. For instance, an instructor would have students concentrate
on using the ball or heel of the foot in some walking/striding exercise, but never
point out that unless one's torso and hips are coordinated/weighted properly,
the feet actions are somewhat/quite moot. Many/most of the spinning classes
do address upper-lower body coordination, but fluid movement requires
connecting all the dots, covering the entire range of body positions, leaving
no vulnerabilities of imbalance.

Fluidity is related to the "texture" of dance, which is related to the texture
of music. The texture describes the degree/amount/quality of speed up
and slow down (acceleration/deceleration) of various body parts, and the
body as a whole. And dead stops work against this texture, just as
most songs do not have regular dead silence.

A basic needs to be fluid .I have had more students here ( since I left the States ) who have attended my classes/Private lessons, where I had to re- design their basics, from Hold to Frame, and timing. Without question, each and everyone, remarked how different it felt,not to even mention the visual effect .
Yup.

Learning how to "blend " progressive movements is never easy, but, the effort and results, justify time spent.
Sad that Foxtrot, which has one of the sweetest/smoothest blending (as
other Standard/Smooth stuff), is often danced as a start-stop
(over-)powered dance in competitions/shows, as on TV dance shows
like DWTS.

Making excuses about poor teaching techn, does not. should not, validate the quality of "teaching ?", one comes across , because of it.
A lot of teachers (and peers) just regurgitate what they've heard. And
lots of "experts" can easily wow uninformed students. I find it particularly
amusing when an instructor claims to have some foundation in some
area he/she has barely dabbled in, using that foundation to gain "respect."
In marketing theory, it's called authority by (false) expertise.

Lastly.. I'm more than well aware , of how students are "conditioned" and attracted to, the "flash and trash" of dance in general, it's todo mundo .
Yup. But it does help pay the bills.

It's just a little sad that many dancers with decades of "experience"
and time/money spent never get past some very basic fundamentals
to start truly enjoying dance and the joy of movement.

By the way, I do NOT teach the BR style of latin (?)..
Well, I do NOT teach dancing at all. But I'm experienced enough to tell the
difference between good and poor movement, beyond the fluff that dominates
market hype.

And yes, I know you prefer more "authentic" Latin dancing and music.
But there are plenty of music these days that have the texture of
classic Latin, which allows Latin/Rhythm dance technique to apply
nicely.

Does this mean you don't teach/do Ballroom Samba?
 

tangotime

Well-Known Member
#38
,






Sad that Foxtrot, which has one of the sweetest/smoothest blending (as
other Standard/Smooth stuff), is often danced as a start-stop
(over-)powered dance in competitions








It's just a little sad that many dancers with decades of "experience"
and time/money spent never get past some very basic fundamentals
to start truly enjoying dance and the joy of movement.



.



But there are plenty of music these days that have the texture of
classic Latin, which allows Latin/Rhythm dance technique to apply
nicely.

Does this mean you don't teach/do Ballroom Samba?
The interpretation of FT, is largely due to the method of instruction..
This also, may tie into the fundamentals of each dance, not being taught in depth .( to most students , and some teachers ! ) .

As to Latin music; I was dance "raised" with the English conception of what latin music/dance was ( Edmundo Ros for 1 ex ). He did play a decent Samba and Rumba, but, they do not remotely compare to music from Brasil/Cuba ..

I gave up on teaching/dancing Intern. style latin, by and large, over 50 years ago, after moving to the States and getting an education into the fundamentals of latin music and dance ,FROM latinos .

The approach to the American styles of dance, are much closer to the original concepts, and even now they have moved forward, there many things that are still unchanged ( CM is a good ex. ) .There are a very very few teachers in the UK , who have had the experience in working with the American style syl. so, an in depth comparative analysis , is not possible

The instrumentation in B.Room " latin " bands is sadly lacking, however, there are some Comp. DJs who have converted to more authentic styles ,mainly in Cha cha .

The larger problem I have found in the UK, is with many of the Prof. who do not have a decent "latin " library, from which I deem to be, a fundamental intro. to the latin styles of dance for student and teacher .

I would venture a guess that, many do not know WHY Rumba, Intern. style, breaks on 2 , or its origin ( And I don't mean Cuba ! ) .
 
Last edited:

Angel HI

Well-Known Member
#39
For Salsa, the hold count corresponds to a "stopping" of the feet....
The question is not whether or no there is "stopping " is of course, because people are taught that way. THAT, is the problem.. There is no where , other than moves that, require the man to be "static "
So glad that you weighed in on this, TT. The problem is the teaching (as you have said). There is no stopping of the feet in salsa unless one is dancing by steps (LRL RLR). Of course, we know that the Latinos count and dance the dance with an 'and' and a tap that creates a continuous movement of the feet.
The amount of poor teaching out there way outweigh the amount of good. But, that reflects the desire of students, where most just want to learn/collect patterns.
Although, you are right about the desire of the students, there's also much to be said for; students are students; they don't know what they want most of the time, and will do what they are told and/or taught if the teacher simply said that it is what they need, and provide it in a fun and goal reaching manner. I think your statement is true, but mostly because of inept teaching having nothing to do with student desire.
 

Dance Ads