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Early hustle was a 5-step count with no turns, created by Puerto Rican teenagers in late 1972 as a direct result of Puerto Rican Elders objecting to young teenagers doing a grinding slow dance known as the 500. Created in the South Bronx among Puerto Rican teens it was originally done at house parties, hooky gigs and basements club dances in the South Bronx. It became known as Spanish hustle; from 1975 to 1976, funk band the Fatback Band made a song with that name.[2] It was also known as the Latin hustle; and was a 6 step count to the beat of the music. And James Brown released Everybody's Doin' the Hustle album in 1975. Same year The JBs had Hustle with Speed album. Around 1976 it became known as the New York hustle. Later, known as just the hustle, when the dance became commercialized after the release of Saturday Night Fever in 1977. The early Latin hustle Pioneers were Willie "Marine Boy" Estrada, Willie Rivera, Eddie Raimundi and many other members. Some of them were members of a gang called the Imperial Bachelors, who used the Latin hustle as a way to bring peace into a violent South Bronx. They hosted hustle parties at St. Mary's Recreation Center on 145th St. and St. Ann's Ave, in 1974. Those parties ended on October 2, 1974, after the killing of a young man, Jaime "Rubberband" Rosendo, who was murdered over $1 by a 14-year-old teenager. However, it was the venue that produced some of the best hustle dancers in New York City, who would help spread the dance in nightclubs throughout New York City in late 1974.

In 1975 music business entrepreneur, Marty Angelo created the first all hustle dance television show entitled, Disco Step-by-Step. Each one-hour show featured top hustle dancers and two 10-minute instructional segments that allowed viewers to learn how to hustle dance in the privacy of their own living rooms. One of the first shows featured a young Billy Fajardo and the Disco Dance Dimensions. Many of the show's video clips can be found on YouTubeMarty Angelo also created the Hustle Hall of Fame online list of dancers in 2000 that he eventually turned over to Ron Bess and Mark James.

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