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Streetswings Dance History Archives: Hustle Dance
Hustle Dance Page

             The name 'Hustle' was originally a Line dance of the same name. The 'couples dance' that was to later steal the name when the movie "Saturday Night Fever " hit the scene was a mixture of Latin and Swing, mixed to the new modern Disco beat. No one knew what to call it and it had many different names across the country in the early 1970's such as "disco swing, Rope Hustle, Sling Hustle, Street Hustle, Latin Hustle etc." These versions usually were different types that would add the flavor of its name.

   The couples form of Hustle is said to have come from Florida with Latin dancers 'Augie and Margo', the Cubans with a mix of Mambo,

Swing and the new disco beat that would make its way to the eastern states such as New York. A legendary dance couple of the 1950's who live in Florida, where way ahead of their time by the name of "Augie and Margo" who created a fusion of different dance styles into one in the 1950's. This fusion would help set the Mambo on fire as well as lead the way for a new style of Mambo, more streamlined, crisper, cleaner and trademark lifts and tricks done in the past by this famous duo that are almost ear-marked with the dance today. Many people would learn from them and incorporate it into this new dance form. All the best dancers of the day in the early 1970's where doing Augie and Margo such as Billy Fajardo (and his dance team), Lisa Nunziella, Maria Torres, Eddy Vega, Artie Phillips, Ricky Quintana and others just to name a few. Altho they did not create the dance, they had a huge impact on it in the 1970's.

    The new 'Disco' music helped as well. This new "Disco Beat" was a continuos beat that would "Thump-Thump" instead of "Tick-Tock," this thump-thump was a "Tick-Tock" but not as accented (a continuous pulse to the beat rather than alternating pulse) which would make it appear to the ear as if both beats were the same. This would make it easy for the DJ's to keep the music going by mixing one song right into the next without stopping the music and the "beginning dancers" did not have to worry about their timing as near as much as in alternating or pulsing rather than thumping beats (since there are 4 beats to a measure and they were only dancing three, basically they were "off time" every other 3 beat pattern).

    The dance eventually got to difficult by the performing public as aerials and trick dancing was to become common place. Country Western replaced the Hustle in popularity, namely the Texas Two Step which originally was much easier for all to do and offered a more wholesome atmosphere, rather than the wild nightlife of the disco that the average guy/girl wanted to take part in. However the Hustle changed all of the dances done today.

L.A. Hustle = Usually Faster Music, more slotted than rotating, less stretch ~
N.Y. Hustle = Usually Slower Music, a more rotating slot, slightly more footwork and stretch.


Birth Place

Creation Date


Dance Type

Miami, Florida 1968 Cubans Folk Dance / Disco

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

Various Music Titles

A Night at The Roxbury The Hustle Bad Girls / Hot Stuff
Dancin'       The Hustle
Disco Dancin'       Mac Arthur Park
Disco Fever       Disco Duck
Farrah Fawcet       Last Dance
Flash Dance       Let's do the Latin Hustle (Drennon)
Gong Show       [Much Music of the 1970s]
Saturday Night Fever        
Stayin' Alive        
Street Dancin'        
Travolta Prints        

Compilations and Soundtracks


Various Locations

54 Soundtrack Vol.1 and Vol.2(Strk) Minskoff Theatre (1979) California
Car Wash [Soundtrack]       Chicago
Ethel Merman Disco Album [CD] (fun)   Florida
Disco 54: The Studio Collection [CD]   New York
Disco Box [BOX SET]       Philadelphia
Disco Nights, Vol. 1: Divas of Dance [CD]       Texas
Disco Nights: Vol. 2: Dance Groups [CD]       Virginia
Disco Nights, Vol. 6: #1 Disco Hits [CD]       Washington
Disco Nights, Vol. 8: Dance Floor Hits [CD]        
Monster Disco [CD]        
Saturday Night Fever [CD] (soundtrack)        
Saturday Night Fever: Themes from the Musical [CD]        
Studio 54: Underground Classics [CD]        
The Last Days Of Disco [CD] (soundtrack)        

Night Clubs etc.

..... Also See Disco page Electric Circus (15th St & 5th Ave., NYC) Paradise Garage (84 King St., NYC)
12 West (12th and West St., NYC) Fun House (526 W. 26th St., NYC) Planetarium (NY)
001 Odyssey (64th St & 3rd Ave - Brklyn) [SNF filmed here] Gasoline Alley (NY) Playpen (NY)
24K (40-15 Queens Blvd, Queens) Ice Palace (Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY) Regine's (502 Park Ave., NYC)
Club 310 (NY) Impanema (240 W. 52nd St., NY) Roseland (52nd St & Broadway, NYC)
Atmosphere Disco (NY) L'Amour (62nd St & 15th, Brooklyn) Studio 54 (254 W 54th St, NY)
Cat Club (NY) La Folie (21 e 61st St., NYC) Strawberry Patch
Chippendale's (Hollywood, CA) Le Club (416 E. 55th St., NYC) Sugar Shack (Van Nuys, CA)
Circus Disco (Los Angeles) Le Mouches (260 11th Ave, NYC) Sybal's (101 W. 53rd St., NY)
Club Marakesh (133 Main St, L. Is) Leviticus (45 W. 33rd St., NYC) the Loft (Late 60's)(NY)
Copacabana (10 E. 60th St, NYC) Limelight (NY) Uncle Sam's (2965 Hempstead, Long Isl.)
Cotton Club (666 W. 125th St., NYC) Osko's (Hollywood) [T.G.I.F. filmed here) Xenon (124 W 43rd St, NY)
Dillon's Downtown (Los Angeles) Oz (Los Angeles) Zachary's (NY)
    ... Plus thousands more!

Films / Movies


Ballets / Stage

1976 - East End Hustle (Roller Disco) 1971 - Soul Train 1979 - Got Tu Go Disco
1977- Saturday Night Fever [DVD] 1973 - Rock Concert 1998 - Saturday Night Fever
1977 - Pelvis 1977 - American Bandstand Harvest Moon Ball Dance Contests
1977 - Roseland [DVD] 1979 - Dance Fever
1978 - Disco Fever 1979 - Makin' It


1978 - Thank God It's Friday [DVD] 1980 - Solid Gold 11/1975 - Ballroom Dancing Times
1982 - Disco Dancer 1982 - Fame 9/2/1978 - The Chronicle Review
1983 - Stayin' Alive [DVD] 1983 - Star Search 11/1978 - Life Magazine
1998 - Forever Fever 1985 - Kicks 2/4/1979 - LA Times
1998 - Studio "54" [DVD] Boogaloo 4/1979 - Ballroom Dancing Times
1998 - The Last Days Of Disco [DVD] Gong Show 4/2/1979 - Newsweek Magazine
1999 - Son of Sam Latin Disco TV Show 4/19/1979 - Rolling Stone Magazine
    5/1979 - Ballroom Dancing Times
    $ 1998 - Chippendales
    $ 1999 - Engineer's Guide to Hustle Dancing (poor basic)

Instructional Videos

Sonny Watson's Hustle Dance Instructional Videos [DVD]   $ 1999 - Hustle
(shameless plug)   $ Disco - Jena. Lauren (used)
    $ Disco Hustle (Carter Lovisone) (used)

Other Related Dances of the time...

American Hustle Disco Swing Mambo Salsa
Bump and Dirty Bump Foxy Trot Hustle Monorail (Line) Sling Hustle
Bus Stop (Line) Freak, the New York Hustle Street Hustle
Cha-Cha Hustle, the (Line) New Yorker (Line) Tango Hustle
Continental- American Hustle Jerk, The Night Club Two-Step Walk, The
Continental Walk (Line) L.A. Hustle Oasis (Line) Waltz
Country Two-Step Latin Hustle Robot, The West Coast Swing
Dirty Dance Line Dance Rodeo Swing Western Hustle
Disco Duck Locomotion (Line) Rope Hustle  

Hustle Dancers


Artie Phillips (d) Kelven Roche & Evelyn Perez Steve Rubell (54 owner)
Barry Douglas (MN) Kenny Gonzales & Ronnie Chase  
Billy Fajardo Lisa Nunziella John Travolta In Saturday Night Fever
Buddy Schwimmer Lourdes Jones
Denny Terio (Instructor SNF - Freestyle) Lynn Vogen (d)
'Disco Dave' Sarul Maria Torres
Donna Boyle Nancy Beth Orr
Eddy Vega (d) Nellie Cotto
Eduardo Nieto & Hollywood Disco Dancers Roy Madrid (Co-Instructor SNF - Couples)
Floyd Chishom (NY) Troy Garza (Chor)
Jo Jo Smith (Chor) William Viloria & Brenda Rante
John Travolta :) Latin Symbolics (Team)
Julio & Nellie Diaz (Cotto)    

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...

Title Author Date Published Publisher
Complete Book on Disco Kilbride, Ann T 1978 Hwong Pub
Complete Guide to Disco Dancing Lustgarten, Karen 1978 Warner Books
Disco to Tango & Back Blair, Skippy 1978 n/a
Let's Disco K-Tel International 1978 K-TEL
Night Dancin' Miezitis, Vita 1980 Ballantine Books

Singers, Musicians, etc.

Club and Radio DJ's

Poets / Writers

ABBA Chacone (New York) n/a
Bee Gees Jerry Lembo (Strawberry Patch)  
Chacone Kenny Wetzel (Los Angeles)  
Cerrone Larry Lavan (Paradise Garage)  
David Brennon Michael Pace (L'Amour)  
Donna Summer Richie Kaczor (Studio 54)  
Gloria Gaynor Rick Dees (Radio)  
K.C. & Sunshine Band Wolfman Jack (Radio)  

Misc. Research Words that may be related ... to help your searches

Disc Jockey / DJ Donna Summer Swustle ??
Disco Polyester Synthesizers    
~ Most popular count for the Hustle across the country is: &1 --2 --3 -- &1 --2 --3 ... harder to start for beg.
~ Some folks count it backwards as: --1--2 - &3 --1--2 - &3 ... easier to start for Beg.
~ Some count it as a six count: &1 --2 --3 - &4 --5 --6 ... makes more musical sense
(Any of these counts work just fine and you should get familiar with them all).
For the followers to tell which timing the Leader will do is simple:
~ If leader pushes follower backward to start its: "& 1 -- 2 -- 3", or "ball-change ---- walk ---- walk."
~ If leader moves follower forward or walks into you its: "1 ---- 2 & 3" or "walk ---- walk ---- ball-change."
For more information also see: Disco Page


1970s Fashions SNF Play Soundtrack 54 DVD L.D.O.D DVD SNF Video TGIF Video
Fashions of the 1970s
1998 - Saturday Night Fever - London - 1998 Last Days of Disco - Soundtrack 54 DVD The Last Days of Disco - DVD Saturday Night Fever Film Thank God Its Friday Video