How to Learn Disco Dance Steps

Written by jill w. baker
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How to Learn Disco Dance Steps
Do the Hustle! (Microsoft Clip Art)

Disco dancing is better known as "Hustle" dancing. This dance, which looks like a combination of swing and ballet, with gymnastics thrown in, became popular when John Travolta danced it in "Saturday Night Fever." It was already a popular dance known as "Street Hustle" before 1977, but today's version is much more beautiful than the Travolta or Street versions. There are nightclubs in Brooklyn where you can dance hustle any night of the week, and it is taught in ballroom and swing dance studios across the nation. Hustle, or "Disco," is now a part of ballroom and swing dance competitions.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Step back, before taking three steps forward. The first step is called a "back break" and is simply a backward step (right foot if the woman, left foot if the man) in preparation to beginning a three-count step pattern: Right-left-right if the man, left-right-left if the woman, to a four-count beat of music. The count would be "And-one-two-three."

  2. 2

    Walk toward each other on the 1-2-3. When the couple meet and pivot, they can then execute turns or go around each other.

  3. 3

    Pivot around your partner on the last count. On the third step (the right foot if the man, the left foot if the woman), there is a pivot and the count begins again with a "back break" with the left foot of the man or the right foot of the woman.

    Hustle dance is a series of forward and back movements where the couple approaches each other at the same time, then step back at the same time as the basic move. The couple is holding hands (right hand if woman, left hand, if man) during the "&123" steps.

  4. 4

    Practice the "&123" steps over and over to a disco song such as "Turn the Beat Around." Once the steps come naturally, the couple can start adding more turns and different moves to the "Disco" dance. Watching the experts on "Expert Village" on will show you more and better steps to do.

Tips and warnings

  • Attend dance classes that have Disco or Hustle instruction.
  • Watch videos on or are purchased from websites that demonstrate more and better moves.
  • Be patient with yourself. It is not easy to do a new dance, but after practicing the dance, it will become easier.
  • Do not attend dance schools that give you the "hard sell" to attend many classes and pay expensive prices for lessons. You will be able to find classes in the same dance for less elsewhere, by expert teachers. Look for classes of instruction at your local college or community centre.
  • "Disco" dancing or "Hustle" is not a line dance, though there is a line dance by this name.

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