The Hustle gives us the fusion of Swing and Disco.


Discotheques (Disco) with high-quality sound systems, and flashing lights became a popular form of entertainment in Europe and America in the late 1960s and throughout the 70s.  In the early 1970s a new dance craze became popular on the crowded dance floors of New York.  This “Touch Disco” was called the Hustle.  The Hustle marked a return to popular dances where couples danced touching each other.  The popularity of modern and “retro” music with “disco” beat keeps this dance fresh, exciting and full of energy for today.


Disco music is normally written in 2/4 or 4/4 time with a strong bass beat.  The melody and beat are based on rhythm and blues and the accent on each of the bass beats makes the music hard to resist.


Turns, spends and wraps are primary components of the Hustle.  The more accomplished dancers will use syncopated timing and fakes along with elaborate arm styling.

Teaching elements

  • Hustle Basics                             Concentrate on turns and position changes
  • Open Breaks                               Teach fingertip lead and follow, arm control
  • Footwork                                    Work on weight changes in rotation
  • Connections                               Prepare for unity of movement and control of body
  • Hustle Motion and Accents    Stress use of beats to steps, body to music
  • Various Timings                        Use straight and syncopated timing to adjust to different music tempos
  • Compare/contrast                    Swing, Lindy, Cha-Cha, Merengue

Hustle songs and artists include:

I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

Last Dance – Donna Summer

Believe – Cher