3 count Hustle
(12&3 count used throughout this section)
Hustle is a partner dance done in a slotted pattern similar to WCS. And just like WCS, it can be danced very smooooothly, or with a lot of snap, acceleration and posing (vogue). Hustle began, freeform, in discos as a dance with simple footwork and a simple count; 1, 2 &3 (SQQS). In 3 count Hustle the pattern repeats every three beats, so to 4/4 music the accent changes continuously with respect to the pattern as the same step can fall either on a down or up beat. Typical Hustle music has every beat accented (e.g. the thump-thump-thump-thump of the bass drum in 1978 top 10 music) which is why disco music is so suitable for Hustle. In disco music there is no swing feel, so if your feet feel uncomfortable doing these '&' steps, it's because there is nothing to step to. The 2&3 in Hustle is a coaster step, which has a very smooth feel, hence does not emphasize the split point of the beat.
Some teachers, prefer to count it as "&1 2 3" (quick-slow-slow-quick) Be careful with this, as some Hustle teachers of the &123 school verbalize this rhythm as quick-*quick*-slow-slow. The second quick (the '1') is taken twice as long as the first (the '&'). Why on earth they use the same word for two different timing concepts (first Q = Q, second Q = S) is unexplainable!
Here's another common incorrect way of teaching the rhythm: I have seen it counted out loud "one two and THREE", but a voice print would show the rhythm:
<- dance count
(1/16 notes are written 1e&a2e&a3e&a4e&a...)
In an effort to accent the 3, the "and" yell is 1/4 beat from the 3 instead of the proper 1/2 beat, rushing the together-fwd without adequate time to make the steps smooth. Consequently, people typically "hop" on the "and three" and either rock or do not take a proper step on count 3. The whole 1/2 beat is needed to change the motion and start moving forward. (When done wrong, it looks funny. Since there is not time to change the body motion, people hop in the air so their feet can do the step forward, but their body does not move.)
Reasons for the &123 count: If we use the convention that 1-2 is where FORWARD motion starts, then it becomes immediately clear that:
in WCS, the woman starts forward on 1-2 (the double unit) and rests on 5&6 or 7&8 (the second triple unit),
in ECS, she starts forward on 1&2 (the first triple) and rests in place on 5-6 (the double unit).
The &123 school says that by the same logic, Hustle should be &123. One might be inclined to say that "1" is the first forward step, so the count should be 1 2 3&. The only problem is that this makes the man start on his right and the woman on her left, and this is just _too_ out of touch with the rest of social dancing. So we put the "&" at the start so the man can start on his left and the woman on her right. So then the &1 is where the forward motion starts. The end points of "&1 2 3 " have little velocity, but do have potential energy (the lean). The end points of "12&3" have near peak velocity (kinetic energy), but less potential energy (lean). Since the woman should be in motion between the "3" and the "1" of the "12&3 12&3" count, "3" is not a natural stopping point in 'walk-though' mode (the only place where names and numbers are important - when actually dancing, all communication comes through the lead and follow; whether your partner counts base-2 in Swahili or learned Venusian names for dance figures, should matter not at all.). When 'talking about and demonstrating named patterns in Hustle', it's nice to have the patterns start and end near the natural points of non-movement. That means when standing and talking, you get to stand still between patterns at spots where you're supposed to be standing still. (OK, everybody hop up, but don't land yet, because I want to explain the foot position your supposed to use to start next figure :-) Both counts have problems with freezing between patterns, but it seems clearer for beginners to stop near a minimum velocity point.
The beginning and ends of figures counted "&1 2 3" are much closer to natural stopping points (still not perfect, but closer.)
Reasons for the 12&3 count: The &123 school says that their count has historical precedence. However in 1985, it had the 12&3 count, which was considered the 'traditional' count in my circles at that time.
It is useful to be able to demonstrate figures starting on count '1'. It is also true that the end points of "&1 2 3 " have little velocity, but do have potential energy (the lean). The end points of "12&3" have near peak velocity (kinetic energy), but less potential energy.
However, 12&3 is a better count and the break point is more appropriate for teaching beginners. It's easier to add the correct velocity at the beginning of a figure than it is to add the correct lean. This is consistent with the way figures are broken down in other dances, as well. Starting on the & in Hustle is like starting on the & in the middle of the coaster step in west coast swing. Instead, WCS figures are generally accepted to start on the second beat following, which matches the 12&3 timing. There's also a high potential energy foot closure in waltz, just like the '&' of Hustle. It comes at the end of the figure, on the 3, not at the beginning of the figure. Finally, there's the lady's quarter turn in quickstep (or the gent's chasse finish), which has the same dynamic exchange between kinetic and potential energy as the lady's Hustle basic. It's counted SQQS, corresponding to the 12&3 timing.
There are many dance teachers in the country using the "&1 2 3" approach, but that still doesn't explain how one justifies turns ending on half beats. I have taught many different forms of dance for many years and I have yet to find one where a complete step pattern ends on a half beat, other than the "&1 2 3" approach to Hustle.
As Dance Teachers who promote the 12&3 count says "we start the dance on the music, not before the music.
What a novel concept!". It's weird that a pattern starts before the 1 beat.
A woman I danced with the other day said she had trouble with Hustle because starting on the left foot was so
confusing. Huh? Well, using &123, the *1* is indeed on the wrong foot for her. I don't blame her for being confused.
A point I heard from a local teacher is that it is reassuring that Hustle start *1* *2*, just like west coast swing.
In Conclusion the count can go either way depending on who you learn it from. For you ladies it depends on who you are dancing with.
Count a1 2 3 or 1 2 a3 Normally in dancing you start with 1. So the second count of 1 2 a3 makes it easier to keep on the rhythm.
Dance to what ever makes sense to you. That is what the teachers are doing.
Times, and terminology, and the dance, have changed. We now tend to dance Hustle to slower music than was used in the disco era. This encourages longer slots and greater extension... which makes it more difficult to adapt when a really fast song is played. (But it also gives more time for styling and for hitting your lines more clearly.) I was in a Hustle workshop he did a few years ago during which, just ,as an aside, he played some "old time disco music". We were all huffing and puffing by the end of the first piece. We can dance Hustle up to about 140+ bpm, but I'd say the more comfortable (i.e., normal) range is 110-124 bpm. It is even comfortable down in the 100 bpm range. So the range is about the same as WCS, but a little narrower (i.e., it doesn't work well on the low and high ends of WCS bpm ranges).
Note: Hustle is danced and taught differently in NYC, California, Florida, Texas, Michigan, etc. I've heard reports from various people that it's hard to lead or follow someone in Hustle when they are from some different part of the country. When I ask about the basic footwork, it sounds about the same. The difference in count, while messing up naming conventions and a common vocabulary, shouldn't matter when actually dancing Hustle. Some differences are:
slotted versus rotating It might be slightly disturbing to be led off-slot when trained in the strictly slotted variety.
smooth vs. sharp, sort of like how the styling of Argentine Tango and International Tango evolved differently.
Someone used to a more fluid Hustle might have trouble snapping in and out of a short freeze line.
tempo range I've noticed that some people can't dance a Hustle at all at what some merely consider a faster
tempo. (128 bpm+)
amount of forward lead required Someone used to pulling the lady forward on "1" (&1 2 3 count) might be surprised at a lady who comes forward without an apparent lead. Someone used to a Hustle with a lot of independent dynamics might be lost when a lady seems stuck in place on the "1". Conversely, the lady may feel pulled off balance at a funny time.
turnaround timing The basic description of Hustle leaves a lot of room for interpretation as to the exact point at which the lady CG reverses direction. It could be as early as the beginning of the together step ("&" in "1 2 & 3 " count). It could be up to 250 milliseconds later just before the forward step ("3" step in the "1 2 & 3 "
count, 120 bpm tempo). With a "kick and step" or "point and step" as in "&3&1 2" the reversal could be even as late as 100-250 milliseconds into the "3" count. This (up to 350-500 milliseconds) could be a significant difference, enough in physiological terms to make it feel like a completely different rhythm or dance. This might be the hidden, hard to describe, difference between Hustle in different regions of the country.
Although both Eastern Swing and Hustle have more or less similar basic patterns, there are significant differences:
In Hustle, "1 2" are the coast and deceleration phase. The turnaround occurs around the end of 1. The "&3" is the launch/impulse phase. Firstly, the follower's step on count 2 is a step back (except in turns) and should be used to stop body movement at the end of the slot. The & is a step together, compressing and planting the feet in order to push forward on count 3.
The most overlooked difference is that the follower's part in Hustle is not a Swing style rock-step but actually a coaster step; that is, her last two steps (&3) are "close-*forward*," not the "back-replace" of a rock-step. (The man may do a "side" on the & when the lady does her close or "together"). The close-*forward* on the &3 in Hustle moves *forward*. If you rock-step you move backwards instead of forwards - causing the partners to pull apart, ripping the arm out of your partner's shoulder and/or poor styling with silly hopping (your body can't move back on the 1 because your arms are stretched out so you hop in the air and take the step anyway). Many people (usually used to Swing) who first try Hustle tend to use back-replace steps instead of together-forward, rush the timing with a "2 a3" instead of "2 & 3", and hop. Their styling greatly improves by slowing down and using the & (instead of a 1/16 note "a") to plant the foot together prior to taking the forward step on 3. When doing Hustle, you can improve your style by staying level (i.e. don't hop) and making sure the time between the "two" and the "and" is the same as the time between the "and" and the "three". Relax and take your time on the "and" so you can get a good foot plant and push off for a nice smooth movement.
There is a difference between:
stepping back instead of together, and
moving your center back.
If a rock-step is understood as `step back right, replace left' then we will probably agree that this is not the way Hustle is supposed to be done. `Step back right, replace left' may work for a stationary pattern, but leaves the woman with no momentum to get to the other end of the slot in slotted patterns. For patterns like the open and closed basic, where the woman has to move from one end of the slot to the other the idea is to start moving her center forward before the end of "&" step, instead of letting it float back. The apogee of the woman's backward motion may be somewhere between the beginning and end of the "&" step. But she has to start accelerating forward much earlier than this in order to dissipate her backward momentum.
But when a beginning lady Hustle dancer steps back on the & count, she may be stepping back *and moving her CG back* on the & count. This is what causes the jerkiness. In fact such jerkiness is easily caused without stepping back on the & count -- if she merely moves her body back with her foot on the & count, thus losing the forward lean.
If the woman is moving her center backward on "&" (WRONG!) - the return on "3" from such a rock back is likely to make her hop in the air. You shouldn't be trying to get extension on the "&." If the woman's weight is still going backward on the "&" step, she has very little time to reverse herself and accelerate forward for the next step (a usually a big step forward). Although it is possible to do this and be smooth, many women when using a rock back on the "&" step, yank their partners back with them or end up not moving anywhere on the following forward step.
What good lady Hustle dancers do:
As she steps back with her left foot on the 2 count, her body is leaning forward, and her CG (center of gravity) is slightly ahead of her left foot.
On the & count she brings her right foot back to both feet are about side by side. At this point she is leaning forward and is on her toes, and her CG is above or a little ahead of her toe. Her forward motion doesn't begin significantly before the & count, but she is *already leaning forward* when the & count occurs.
Now she moves, by stepping forward with her left foot on the 3 count. Since she is already leaning forward, she can push with her right foot and gain momentum quickly. The force due to change of momentum is primarily exerted against the floor at an angle, not against her partner. The way to reproduce this in slow motion is to face a wall and lean against it with your hands. Now do a coaster step while still leaning forward.
Now, it is possible for the & step to be back and the subsequent "3" to go forward. Patricia Reeves (a longtime NY style Hustle dancer) does not do a together step, but rather a back in 3rd or maybe even 5th position. Her "3" is then definitely forward. This works and can be used to nicely accent the music. But, the later the backwards motion is reversed, the more POWER it takes to get going forward in time for the "3". So now it's possible to see how an expert dancer could actually step back (a little) on the & count: She steps back with her foot, but her body *still leans forward without moving back* and no momentum is lost. She will need to lean a bit more to compensate.
We place the foot slightly back as in the "ball" of a ball-change. In this case, placing the foot slightly behind the woman's center actually HELPS her move forward. The woman does not ordinarily take her center back unless the man has deliberately led an explosion or extension. In fact, the woman putting the right foot slightly behind her center actually helps give her forward momentum. She's now leaning forward and has gravity working for her, not just the flex of her ankle.
The Hustle followers around here do not rock - they take a small back step on the right on & and then a strong forward walk on the left on 3 - technically a ball-change, not a rock step. The trick is not to take the weight back over the right foot. In fact, consider this - doesn't a slight back step as described above make the woman LIGHTER going into 3? When she picks up her left foot, if the right foot is slightly behind her, she will actually fall forward slightly, whereas if she takes her & in place, she is relying just on the leverage motion of her foot & ankle and the man's lead. If the goes slightly back on &, then gravity is working for her as well.
So, in Hustle, the EMPHASIS is on the strong forward step on the lady's left foot on 3. I can practically guarantee you that if you teach beginners to concentrate on the strong "3" step instead of worrying about the exact foot placement of the "&" step, you'll get the desired result: the truly novice dancers will, in all likelihood, take the "&" in place or only very slightly back. The more experienced dancers who understand how ball-changes work, may add the slight back break. I teach students not to think about the "&" steps. If they concentrate on the step AFTER the "&", then they concentrate on where their CG needs to be, and the take the "&" step in such a way that they are in the right place for the next step. If they're in the right place on the next step, who cares where the "&" is? When you are really dancing, footwork is the result of your body action.
Maria Torres, one of the founding members of Hustle USA, a national Hustle organization, says: Regarding back steps vs. steps in place on the "and": "It all depends on how the guy leads it." Her *preference* is to take a slight back step, as she feels that helps propel her forward better. She also very much likes the style in which the woman tucks or kicks her left foot on "1" and then steps on &2, making it & tuck & 2 3.
Regarding closing on the '&' versus stepping back: I suspect those of us who disapprove of stepping back are thinking primarily of people who only use the &, and not the preceding (2) step, to reverse direction. Typically, people who do this will lower the heel on the step before the '&'. All of the reversal of direction then occurs on the &.
At 120 bpm, and a velocity change from -1.2m/sec to +1.2m/sec (based on covering a four foot slot in two beats), the acceleration is (1.2m/sec + 1.2m/sec)/(0.25 sec), or 9.6m/sec^2, or 0.98 g's. To do this without pulling on one's partner or using the floor, one would have to lean at about 45 degrees from vertical. Many who use this technique instead pull on their partners. In fact, if the lady is 120 lb, and doesn't use the floor, the pull will be 117 lb! Even if one takes a 30 degree lean, about 50 lb of help is still needed from partner. No wonder this technique doesn't seem very smooth.
If one uses both the '&' and the (2) step preceding the '&' to reverse direction, the required acceleration is halved (because twice as much time is available - velocity equals acceleration times time). Not using the floor at all, this requires a lean of about 25 degrees from vertical to avoid pulling on one's partner, which is considerably more achievable. In this case, one's center of gravity is stationary at the point where the '&' foot is placed, so it is natural to take the '&' as a 'together' step - though minor variations, such as a third or even fifth position placement, would achieve basically the same effect.
In effect what is happening is that a rock step is being taken over two steps, and the dancer will appear to hang in the air with the toes of both feet on the floor well behind the center of gravity. The difficulty of teaching this to beginners is probably why the 'back on the &' took hold as sling Hustle spread out from New York. In Boston as recently as five years ago, everyone did the 'rock back' footwork. Now almost everyone does the 'feet together' footwork - fortunately for leaders who don't like being jerked around.
A lot of beginners topple back and forth when first trying to dance Hustle to faster music or in larger slots, in part because they're picking up some (head-over-heels) angular momentum that they haven't yet learned to control. When walking, and particularly while dancing, people push at odd angles off the floor. They pick up angular momentum (i.e. they temporarily start to rotate heels over head about their center of gravity), but they compensate somewhere else in the dance.
In Hustle the woman's foot shoots back quickly on -and-, and then she steps forward on -three-. What happens, is that her foot moving back quickly on -and- carries a lot of angular momentum (in the heels over head direction). When she puts it down, she pushes forward at a very steep angle - as though she were leaning over 50 or 60 degrees, but she doesn't fall over because the net result is that she loses the angular momentum she already had. She ends up moving forward with no angular momentum without actually having lost her balance, and without having pulled tremendously hard on her partner. I get the impression that some of the elastic parts of the leg actually help reduce the amount of work the muscles need to do by just acting like springs (that's part of why it feels comfortable to dance at certain speeds).
Of course, it becomes important that the woman should have decided where she is going a bit earlier than when she starts to take the -and- step so that she knows how fast to push back her foot. So either there should be a convention or a lead by then... Regarding the lead, one is actually starting to lead the lady to come back on the count before the &. If you don't do this lead, and the lady is not on autopilot, she will not reverse direction, but instead fly off towards the edge of the dance floor. With this lead, she will decelerate and be hanging in the air as described in the previous paragraph on the '&'; she then has no choice but to step forward on the following step. In NY Hustle, no further lead is necessary at this point (although it is reassuring); if none is given, the lady is still correct in coming forward rather than falling on her face.
Now, opposite to everything we have said, the Miami style of Hustle has the woman raising her left leg into a little tuck before coming forward, and she is very much set back with her weight FULLY on her right foot. In fact, I'm not sure that they don't slightly change the count as habit to accentuate this. In watching them , it seems like they hold at the end of the slot an incredibly long time.
It is quite common to let the woman hold a brief line on her right foot starting on "&" and holding through "3". She then comes forward on "&2", making the syncopation & (3) & 1 2. Or, if held even longer, the syncopation can change to & (3) 1 & 2. Also, if led properly, the line can be hit ON "3" rather than on the preceding "&", making possible the syncopations 3 & 1 2 and 3 1 & 2. As long as the woman makes four weight changes, all of these are legitimate syncopations.
Barry Douglas counts 12&3. His partner did the following break almost constantly:
& 3 & 1 (and then 2 is FL as normal)
BR PfL RL FR
Kinda looks like a WCS break, huh? His partner had a great Latin style and ballroom poise in her Hustle.
P.S. Translation for Craig Hutchinson notation:
& Back with right foot
3 Point forward with left foot
& Replace (apply weight onto) left foot
1 Forward with right foot
West Coast Swing has a kind of "hanging-back" look, \----/, where there is a slight pull. In contrast, Hustle is vertical, where the lady is like a spinning top perfectly balanced over her feet (like a yo-yo that goes sideways :-)
Hustle should have a light and smooth lead, without the "pull" or "push" off each other found in swing. The lady must move herself and she must be balanced properly so only a slight lead causes her to move the proper direction.
Hustle typically has lots of spinning, and strong leads inhibit the spins.
Whereas WCS emphasizes lower body styling, complex syncopations, and sensual moves, Hustle has simple footwork and more upper body motions and the use of hands to provide emphasis of the stronger, more up-tempo beat. A key difference between WCS and Hustle is the woman's part. In WCS the woman should provide a strong anchor at the end of the patterns. In Hustle, part of her job is to insure that the dance flows. Hustle is an "attack dance". At the 'ball-change' (the &3) both the man and the woman should be coming out or building their momentum. Instead of anchoring, the woman comes forward... WITHOUT A LEAD. If she waits for a lead then the patterns fall behind the beat. AS A RESULT THE LEADS ARE VERY LIGHT. Because she is already moving, the man just guides her along. The leads in Hustle are among the lightest of all the club dances. The faster the music, the lighter the leads should be - and this is all dependent on the woman coming forward on the 3.
The key difference between Hustle and WCS is the initial lead. In Hustle the woman should aggressively step forward on "one" unless prevented, whereas in WCS the woman should stay in place on "one" unless led forward.
In WCS you need a good connection to start a pattern, whereas in Hustle you can dance with a good follower by only indicating where to turn and barely connecting otherwise.
Hustle is different from WCS. In West Coast, the follower should never step forward on "1" unless led; in Hustle basic, the woman should always think "step forward on "3" unless prevented" (Well ladies, you should really be led into stepping strongly, but yes, stepping forward on 1 is the thing to do). This give Hustle a more ballistic feel than West Coast Swing. In the Hustle closed basic, the man brings her forward while he does the check step. It is a 'rubber band action', which stretches on that coaster-step, and leads her forward on the 3. The man does not rock the lady back like in a WCS throwout.
In NY slotted Hustle, counted &123, stepping forward on 1 isn't backleading. As an example of this, let me use a man's free spin: In WCS, if I release a woman's hand without any forward pressure or motion and do a free spin I would expect her to anchor in place and to be on the same side of the slot as I left her. (Actually, to avoid unexpected collisions, I would check to make sure the woman isn't the kind who coasters instead of anchors before I try a free spin.) In Hustle, I would do a free spin slightly off the center of the slot, and afterwards expect to find the woman across the slot or rotating the slot around me even if I didn't lead her hand forward beforehand. It's very disconcerting to find she had stopped to watch me spin and I have to go an extra 1/2 spin to find her.
You need a very tight lead-follow method in which the woman would never step forward ahead of the lead. Relatively speaking, Hustle feels like a much lighter lead to me than WCS. The issue of the woman coming forward without an apparent lead is, to some extent, a moot point. I would never _not_ lead the woman forward on 1, so it would never be readily apparent that the woman was coming forward ahead of the lead.
Another key difference is in the "flow of movement" through the dance. The follower's movement in Hustle should evoke a feeling of mostly flowing, continuous movement (which matches well with the steady, continuous, (monotonous?) beat of Hustle music). e.g. in a series of walk-around turns (open turning basic, two hands), or closed turning basics for that matter, the follower should never stop moving -- her momentum is simply redirected from one direction to another. Whereas in WCS, the anchor step at the end of the slot provides a definite "stopping point" in most patterns. The followers "step forward by default" rule goes right along with the follower's need to keep the movement "flowing".
Hustle emphasizes woman's turns, and there are many abrupt reversals of the direction of turn. This means that, most of the time, the woman *cannot* retain TURNING momentum (angular momentum for you physicists) from one set of three counts to the next. (There are exceptions, the most obvious being the woman's free traveling spin, four-count turns, etc.) If she does, many patterns will become difficult and/or awkward. Next to mastering the turns themselves, this is the single point that followers have the most trouble with in Hustle. Leaders have great difficulty trying to lead a follower to turn to their right when she is expecting to turn to her left, just because she turned left on the last three counts!
A Follower in motion continues in motion until an external force acts upon her." The follower keeps turning until something stops her. My idea is to have the follower move to the music (force) until perturbed in her motion by a lead (another force).
At the local Hustle dance, I was able to measure slot lengths in the range of about 1-2 meters (3-6 feet) depending on the height and energy of the dancers. A typical slot was about 1.3 meters (4 feet) in length. The music was averaging 120 bpm or even a little faster at times.
Good dancers will shorten the slot for faster music.
The feet move the full length of the slot, but in most Hustle moves, the center of gravity of the body will move considerably less. (Lean back when decelerating, lean forward when accelerating.)
To slot or not to slot... that is the question; Depending on what part of the country you're from and how crowded the floor is, Hustle can be danced strictly slotted (a la WCS), in a rotating slot, or as a traveling dance. A lot of Hustle figures work out well when danced in a triangle, e.g. 120 degree turn at each end of the slot instead of 180 degrees.
For traveling, use alternating forward and back grapevines and free spins with an overturned basic exit.
Regarding circle vs. slotted: "It all depends on how the guy leads it (and how crowded the floor is)."
Some of the verbal history I've heard regarding the origins of Hustle describes it as a rotating or rotating slot dance.
What happened is that teachers re-codified it as a slot dance because it was easier to teach that way. A strict slot allows you to pack a bigger class onto the floor and helps keep beginners from underturning the patterns. Hustle HAS evolved a lot since the disco era; for one thing, it's now mostly done to slower music (e.g. "Vogue" vs. "Turn The Beat Around") which makes it easier to "close the slot".
All the beginning and intermediate Hustle patterns I've ever seen are taught to begin and end with the slot in the same orientation. Most newcomers, especially those who come to Hustle from ECS, let this fall apart a little bit, especially on faster music. That doesn't make it right. The way Michael Kiehm teaches it, the slot doesn't "rotate", in the sense that if we start out in a north-south slot, that's the way we stay. Folks who allow the slot to "rotate" are viewed as being sloppy. Perhaps Michael teaches a stationary slot because it's the most appropriate on today's crowded dance floors. Then again, perhaps it's because he's a precisionist (which I think he his) and he thinks that's the way the dance should be done.
I learned Hustle as a slot dance. But after watching several old-time Hustle dancers and several top level pros dance it as a rotating slot, I experimented with a rotating slot and found I preferred it to a strict slot for many patterns. A rotating slot (my definition: lady travels in a straight line from one end of a slot to another, but doesn't turn an exact 180 degrees for the next slot.) allows you to dance geometric figures like triangles and squares. It also allow you to travel by zig-zagging the slot across the floor. Hustle used to be circular, but nowadays it's been modified into a slot dance. The woman moves in a slot. The guy, of necessity, make more of an ellipse.
Given the floor space, most Hustle uses as much real estate available, and the slot rotates. Hustle dancers use almost every square inch of floor, with slots varying all over the compass. Taught as a stationary slot because it's the most appropriate on today's crowded dance floors. If they do it because they're deliberately trying to use up floor, or as part of patterns that are designed to rotate the slot, that's one thing. If they're doing it because, e.g., they just aren't bothering to get all the way around on a turning closed basic, that's sloppy, and I don't care *who* they are. Of course, if there is very little room on the floor, a strict slot is sometimes the safe thing to do.