Hustle

The Hustle is a catchall name for several disco dances which were extremely popular in the 1970s. Today it mostly refers to a unique partner dance done in ballrooms and nightclubs. It has some features in common with swing dance. In the 1970s there was also a line dance called the Hustle–which is regaining popularity as people throw ’70s theme parties or schools have ’70s dance performances.

The 1977 movie Saturday Night Fever showed both the line and partner forms of hustle, as well as something referred to as the “tango hustle” (invented just for that film by the cast, according to the DVD commentary). Afterwards, different line dance and couple dance forms of the Hustle emerged. Although the huge popularity faded quickly as the hype that was created by the movie died down, the hustle has continued and is now a “ballroom dance”; it has taken a place beside swing, cha-cha-cha, tango, rumba, bolero, nightclub two step and other partner dances in America.

Its basic steps are somewhat similar to the Discofox, which emerged at about the same time and is more familiar in various European countries. In the 1970s there was also a line dance called the Hustle. Modern partner hustle is sometimes referred to as New York Hustle. People still do this dance today.