Staying Alive! Original Latin Hustle, It’s Not What You Think.

So you’re probably saying right now – “Sure, but why should I care about some old disco dance?”

A Few Quick Points on Why Latin Hustle is the Bomb!

I love, love, love, me some Latin Hustle! Latin Hustle is, sadly, a dance that has fallen through the cracks of history. Latin Hustle is such a smooth, comfortable, and unique style that it certainly deserves to be remembered and survive in dance culture.

It’s 6 NOT 3!
To begin with it’s a six count dance, NOT three. If someone claims otherwise, ignore them; they either don’t know or forgot over the years (happens to the best of us). You shouldn’t just take my word for it, on that we agree, so I’ve provided multiple sources from the 70’s below to prove my point.

Cross Touch (back tap) Basic.  Source: Dancing Disco by Deats, 1979

The big deal with six count based patterns is that it slows the flow down and makes the dance both calmer and easier to learn than it’s fast paced three count evolution.  Many people struggle with three count Hustle because it can be really jerky and spastic feeling when you are constantly passing your partner and rotating every three counts, thus Latin Hustle is the solution…boom, problem solved!

And Another Thing!
Latin Hustle has some really great moves that are fun and interesting in ways we don’t see anymore, thus giving you more options in your dance arsenal to express the music and connect with your partner. Many of the figures from vintage instructional texts changed my personal view of what Hustle was and wasn’t, almost exclusively for the better.
If you want to mix Latin Hustle with 3 Count Hustle it’s easy: simply do a ball change action counting  &, 1, instead of tapping on count 1 and then dance the rest of the pattern exactly the same. Fusion of Hustle systems works out for the simple fact that they evolved from one another.

Lastly, it’s easy to fuse into West Coast Swing and 3 Count Hustle. Actually, Latin Hustle was often compared to West Coast Swing (WCS) by instructors of the period. Not only that, but some WCS moves actually are Hustle moves that were adopted. The secret to adapting patterns is simply to count Hustle patterns 5,6 counts as 1,2 in WCS and voila!

Source: 1979 The Complete Book on Disco, by Kilbride and Algoso

Source: The Latin Hustle by Strand, 1979

One of John Travolta’s teachers for “Saturday Night Fever” Denny Terrio.
Source: Night Moves by K-tel, 1979

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