David Flynn , the writer of the Newsletter "Swing and Hustle, and creator of a new style of Hustle some refer to as "Sling hustle" recently wrote a inflammatory series of articles in his newsletter .
His basic claim was that his new style is prefered by people in their 20s, and that only people over 40 dance the New York Hustle. He went on to imply that there was collusion on the part of organizers of all comps to make money, so they cater to older wealthier crowds.
The International Hustle Association FINALLY got around to rebutting Flynn. Not only did they refute his claims-they outright proved him wrong on all counts by simply listing winners ages at Hustle USA last year. Many of whom WERE in their 20s The ironic thing was that the winners of Flynns style of Hustle in another comp where his style had a division- were over 30 themselves.
One thing the IHDA left out was Flynns claims that his style is more suited for faster music "of today"- YET dance hits BPM of "today" are actually the same, or slower than they have been in the past. I mean cmon Flynn, turn on the radio and do your homework !
I had personally blasted Flynn in a personal email response once, because I never liked his way of selling his dance and he is clueless. Maybe in Maryland where he lives, Hustle dancers are old folk- but here in NY and down in Fla, I can guarantee the crowd is mixed, with the age ratio being distributed very young compared to just about all the other dances out there aside from breakdancing.
In conclusion, Mr Flynn should concentrate on selling his style on it s merits, not by selling lies and mistruths about similar dances.
[ 12-01-2001: Message edited by: Bob B ]
It's kinda cool when you can look back at something written by a detractor like Bob B. from long ago and have everyone else reading it with you see how naive his comments where due to the sheer perspective of 7 years of time (2001 versus 2008).
Now, mid 2008, people no longer fight with me over conclusions I made before 2001 and before the problems we now have became chronic.
Bob cites young Hustle winners - well, we now know that no one under 40 is doing NY styled hustle today, and the young winners he refers to were just west coast swing cross over's looking for another trophy. They had no lasting interest in Hustle or they would still be around today (now in their late 20's or early 30's).
Bob represents that classic poor reasoning of his time. His (and others) resistance to change that now has hustle on the ropes for precisely ALL of the reasons he correctly attributes to me in his 2001 post.
We now know that the IHDA he refers to sanctions these competitions and provides the judges. So today, we now all realize that if you aren't part of that "in" crowd, you're wasting your time.
As a professional DJ company owner, I am impressed that Bob has such a confused idea about historical musical speeds. The top ten Billboard dance hits of 1980 averaged 128 BPM. The Promo Only Dance series (the club hit provider of today) averages 132 BPM. Music has gotten faster folks. But in 1980, we did hustle to ALL those songs. They don't today. After hustle USA, NY styled hustle became the competitive standard. THAT was the fatal blow to our future. At a maximum of 115 BPM, it removed us from the dance clubs and the current music space that eliminated any recruiting of the young.
Since the NY styled hustle we have today fails at any speed over 115 BPM, and as a result, no competition goes over that for social or competitive dance rounds.
As of 2008, we have lost the young from our ranks entirely. And now we're losing our big dance events one by one due to the natural attrition of older dancers who are not replaced with young converts. Bob's foolish post from 2001 is part of the classic prevalent thinking of his time that damaged our dance tradition, and discredited the very leaders who could have helped us avoid it. Had we gone with a faster hustle style like sling – we'd still be in the dance clubs today. And folks, that's where all the young people we DON'T have are.
Thank you for responding directly to that topic and letting me know that you did 7 years later. I had forgotten about it entirely. From what i read - you still prefer to be confrontational rather than conciliatory- which is perhaps more of a reason why your style of "Sling Hustle" never caught on- As for Hustle dancing in general- I was not aware that it was dead or dying- In fact, I just saw a recent " So You Think You Can Dance" episode with "young" participants doing NY Hustle. I did not put down your dance, nor did others -It was your pontificating that puts people off. As for the BPM controversy- i am not confused- I played music professionally several years and can keep good time- Hustle dancing is rudimentary 4/4 and i would be happy to transcribe it for you- but i am sure you are a very capable musician yourself.
In conclusion- IMO- The song "Do The Hustle" is what killed and continues to kill NY Hustle dance in clubs . It is the most ridiculous song-total canned music and I run off the floor when any DJ puts it on - like most sane people should.
Also, on a related topic, the West Coast Swing people are different than Hustle people when it comes to competing- Serious West Coasters compete routinely. Most Hustle Dancers dont, or do so rarely. West coast events revolve around competing. Hustle events revolve around the party.
Confrontational? Me? Bob, can you look at who STARTED this thread? You did.
Why should I even have to defend myself from you calling me out by NAME?
And let's face it - my assertions have never been personal. They are too simple to contest. Slow down the dance and you move outta the clubs. Move outta the clubs and you lose the young.
You are not alone in your "shoot the messenger" approach here. Lottsa people who fought with me 10 years ago are eating the same crow right now as you are. Rather than assail my facts, they attack me "personally" as your posts have.
Let's get off the personalities here and fix this problem. What I have been saying is simple. To stay relevant in Hustle you need to very quickly find a way to do all of the things I suggested ten years ago (which you correctly cited in your first email) w/o any deviation. Like Social security - we have waited too long to fix this to allow people the comfort of flexibility.
Young people are not out doing NY style hustle in our dances or in the clubs every weekend. No matter what you see on one TV show. Everyone knows this in 2008.
And music is NOT slower in today's clubs than it was in 1980.
To remove any doubt about speed - please feel free to review the links and count BPMs yourself. I am sorry, but I will not bend to your poor facts and shoddy research on any of this. If you want to debate facts with me - you need to have done your homework. I will GLADLY go to the mat on this point with you, or any other I have made in the last 10 years. As a rule, I only state the obvious. People fighting with me are always taking a losing proposition therefore, as your first post did.
For the promo only - and current club hits - see
Agreed - but here's the problem Bob. As people get older, whether they do West Coast, NY Hustle or Lindy, ALL older folks compete less than the young folks. This is true in triathlon and marathon racing also, and for all the same reasons. Since West Coast is faster than NY hustle and still has some young people, they still compete. Hustle folks are getting so old that now their days as competitors are past.
What you observe is a symptom of the correctness of my original assertions.
In salsa, the faster dance of these three, there are TONS of kids doing show teams, exhibitions and comps. More than hustle and west coast combined.
So - you are agreeing with me w/o realizing the details as to why. Faster dances will have younger people, and where there are younger people, there will always be more competitors.
Actually it was YOU who wrote me and thousands of others in your news letter- many times- If you read my post carefully - you would have noted my article was my opinion of a response written by someone else and my reasoning still stands . - MY point WAS- and STILL IS that you spend your time attacking others rather than promoting your own style on its merits. I also took one of your classes years ago on spinning. It was enjoyable.Your attacking another style to promote your own is not. Its confrontational and unneccesary
Your argument in its elemental form is" -NY HUstle dance sucks, its too slow -my dance is better- Only old folks dance Hustle -You go on to state statistics that dont exist. There WAS NO Hustle world championships in the 70s to my knowledge ? What army of competitors dont compete? The Club dance offs or Dance Fever people ?? IMO there is no empirical way to rate level of competitors then and now- so how do you ?.
On the West coast Swing (another matter)- I personally like West Coast , and I think it has more crossover potential because it can be danced to more styles- MANY west coast swing songs are slow- Slower than Hustle- I like WCS personally cause I can use many Hustle steps inside it. Its a fun dance. Waltz is fun- So is Viennese Waltz -Waltz does not die because its too slow - or out of sync with "todays" style of dance because "old people" dance it- Hustle is a variation of swing- It will live or die like other swing styles have lived or died depending on many other variables.
AS for Salsa -= whole different world-and different debate- Latin crowd LOVES dancing-Old Young -in between- I grew up in and around Manhattan. Speed has NOTHING to do with the Latins love of partner dancing -Merengue Bachata Salsa - Its a cultural thing -In the early eighties latin partner dance was on the same scale it is today- Clubs like the Latin Quarter filled up then and now. Hustle swing and ballroom in general is more cyclical- I dont know why - but I dont feel "speed" is the driving factor.
Anyway man - After rereading my post I do feel I was harsh in calling you "clueless" . Based on your latest newsletter you are far more knowledgable than I am about triathalons.They seem very hard to do endurance wise. You are confrontational though-( I dont think you mean to be )- not a problem either way -I love a good fight - I find it fun staying young through dance and other sports . And yes Perhaps I will see u on the mat someday-
Keep the faith .
One other point I did want to make- In your response to me you stated that the events with Hustle are "dying" one at a time-When I thought about it - there was only ONE event with Hustle as part of the Headline AT ALL that I know of in 1999 and before- that was Hustle USA. Before then- Hustle was nothing more than a sidelight in some ballroom comps . There was a big resurgance in the 90s that continues to today- Hustle USA died- - but - there are several events with Hustle as a major component the title that took its place
World Hustle Dance Championships
International Hustle and Salsa
NY Hustle Congress and more
Therefore-to my knowledge -Technically speaking - Hustle has proliferated- not diminished.
Also at your prompting and for my own curiosity I will research BPMs for dance songs then and now when I get some time - I'll use Billboard top ten as my guide. That is the standard . Ill hit a couple years in the 70s 80s and match them to 07 Billboard top 10 dance just to get some numbers .I do want to also point out that many of "todays" top 10 hits are actually sampled disco songs from back then .
OK Bob, my concern here truly isn't personal. My main issue is fixing the problem.
Lets address your chief concern - attacking others versus promoting MY style -
Bob, first off, I'm not selling anything. I work as an engineer/analyst full time. So I am promoting NO "David Flynn" version.
Secondly - what I do is the same sling hustle we did in 1980. It's the very same style we ALL did to faster hustle music in those days, as NY style didn't exist in the slow form it does today.
So there no promoting MY style - there is only undoing the change over of the dance to this newer, prettier, slower NY styled version that's killing us today - and the group that mandates it at competitions.
As far as hustle speed is concerned from the disco top 500 - you may as well put these in your spreadsheet - I have, it's a fun project.
see the disco top 500 at
I will be at Diane Nardone's event teaching this year - please find me and say Hi.
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