I spent Saturday afternoon at ATOMIC-Placentia for the Hustle workshop taught by Patricia Reeves and Cesar Ricaurte.
No, this isn’t the line dance version of the Hustle, but the fun and fluid partner version of the dance. It’s fast, there’s a lot of footwork, and it’s a blast.
Patricia and Cesar taught the New York Hustle, which, compared to its counterparts, involves a lot more styling with the other versions of the Hustle. While West Coast versions of the Hustle often have the lead turning the follow on the left hand side, New York Hustle has the follow turning on the lead’s right.
Like many ballroom and partner dances, the basic foot positions for Hustle are based on the first five foot positions found in ballet. Patricia got us warmed up and ready to dance with the basic foot positions and some stretching, and those foot positions were key to helping me learn new steps during the workshop.
The Hustle is a playful dance, with lots of room for improvisation with your partner. During the stylings section of the workshop I learned how to channel my inner diva during the classic move, the New York Walk. You can make the Hustle as jazzy or as flirty as you want, and I think that’s what I like the most about it. There’s a lot of room to play with the music and to interpret as the mood strikes you within the basic footwork.
I first fell in love with the Hustle in 2009 after taking a series class, but other classes were hard to come by, so I was really excited to take this workshop. We even learned some back-to-back moves where you’re facing away from your partner, and it really makes your Hustle sizzle.
Patricia and Cesar have been dancing for almost 24 years together. They started dancing Hustle and in 1990 added Argentine Tango to their repertoire. They teach beginner and intermediate tango every Sunday night at ATOMIC Ballroom – Irvine. Stay tuned for more Hustle from this dynamic duo!
You can find more about Patricia and Cesar on their website at http://www.clubdanzarin.com.