Dancing Discofox

Discofox Dancing 🕺🦊🎵

Discofox is a partner dance, which is danced in pairs and had its origin in the 60s both in the USA and a little later in Europe. Two variations of Discofox have developed from this, which will be discussed in more detail later. In the meantime, Discofox dancing is known all over the world mainly as a party dance and is danced at birthdays, weddings and other cheerful events. Discofox is also popular because the dance combines many other dances and yet is relatively uncomplicated to learn.

Table of Contents

History of origin

The history of the Discofox does not reach so far back into the past in comparison to many other well-known dances, such as waltz or tango. At the end of the 60’s some dancers combined Foxtrot, Swing and other styles with each other and a new dance for the discotheques was born. Over the years, other elements from other dances were incorporated, creating a completely new dance. Only by its spreading to Europe the name Discofox was introduced, since the dance was still called Hustle in the USA. The name Discofox is composed of the word Disco and one of the original dances, the Foxtrot.

Worldwide Spread

Even in the 70s, people were already influenced by digital media and so an American movie was responsible for the worldwide spread of Discofox dancing. The movie “Saturday Night Fever” from 1977 is set in the USA and is about the New York dance and music scene, which also included Discofox or Hustle. Since the movie created such a big hype and made people dance, discofox also became more and more popular.

 Because of its simple steps and the uncomplicated learning, Discofox is still known all over the world and is one of the most popular dances at all.


Not only learning the dance is uncomplicated, but also the choice of music. Since there is not only exactly one Discofox music, dancers can decide very freely which pieces of music they want to listen to for dancing. The only requirement is a 4/4 time, but this can be found in very many songs and beats.

 For example, Discofox can be danced to disco hits, hit music, electronic music and soul music. This is again an indicator for the simple and uncomplicated nature of Discofox, which explains its great popularity.

Dance styles

Also the Discofox has, like many other dances, certain dance styles, which divide the dance itself again and bring in different variations. These are mainly due to the developments of the dance on the one hand in the USA and on the other hand in Europe. In fact, the term Discofox has now become accepted as a generic term in Europe and thus also means the Hustle and the different variations. 

The Hustle used to be called American Hustle, because it originated in the USA. Just like Discofox in Europe, the Hustle is much more popular in America and is considered there as a common variant of Discofox.


Nowadays in Europe Discofox is called classical Discofox, which was introduced there and is danced classically in 4/4 time. In this classical style the basic steps are danced as described later. The classical Discofox is also performed as a ballroom dance and is, as expected, especially in Europe the most popular style of dance.


Besides the Discofox there is now also the Hustle. The biggest difference between the two styles is that Discofox consists of three basic steps, but Hustle consists of four, because another weight shift is added. The fourth step makes the dance a bit more dynamic and varied. In addition, one can take up more momentum and move better through the room.

New York Hustle

The New York Hustle is next to the American Hustle, one of the most common variations of the Hustle itself. Often, these three names also mean each other, so it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between them. It is worth mentioning that the New York Hustle, just like the American Hustle, is danced in 4/4 time, but is always counted to 6.

Three Count Hustle

The Three Count Hustle is a hustle variation with three instead of four basic steps. Thus, this hustle comes closest to Discofox, although it is still very much related to the original hustle.

Rope Hustle

The Rope Hustle is a very amusing form of the Hustle and shows the wealth of creative variations of this dance. Various funny and varied elements are incorporated, such as a connection of the dance partners with a rope. Logically, this is where the name of this style comes from.

Other Hustle Variations

There are many other hustle variations, such as the Street Hustle, the Line Hustle, the Double Hustle or the Latin Hustle, whereby all styles differ mainly in the way of counting and the origin. 

Description of Discofox dancing

Discofox is a very lively and energetic dance, which can be danced on large dance floors as well as in smaller rooms or discotheques. The dance partners face each other, with the man holding the woman’s upper back with his right hand and the woman in turn placing her left hand on the man’s upper arm. The two free hands enclose each other and are held at about a 90 degree angle to the upper left (from the man).

Basic Steps

The basic steps of Discofox are really easy to learn. The man makes a step forward with the left foot, followed by a step forward with the right foot and finished by the left foot, which pulls next to the right foot, but the left side is not loaded. Then the left foot takes another step back, the right foot does the same, and the left foot, again without load, draws level with the right foot. The woman does at the same time the same game mirror-inverted and ready is the basic step in Discofox.

Further steps

Besides the basic steps Discofox can be refined with a lot of figures. In addition, the dance also contains many other movements, like turns, movements in the upper body or certain step sequences. This in turn always creates new figures and the Discofox never becomes boring to dance.


It is seemingly impossible to list all figures of Discofox that have been created in the meantime, because there are believed to be an infinite number of them. This is due to the fact that Discofox has developed mainly from improvisations and did not have to adhere to guidelines or stylistic devices. Among the most famous figures are the pretzel, the ladies solo and the change of place. 

With the pretzel the woman turns out of the classical dance posture, once around her own axis, while she continues to hold both hands of the partner. The ladies’ solo looks like this: the woman also moves out of the classical dance posture and then turns once in a circle, while her right hand continues to hold her partner’s. 

The pretzel is a dance in which the woman moves once around her own axis, while her right hand continues to hold her partner’s hand. Last but not least, the change of places: in this, the man and the woman exchange positions, with the man passing the woman’s hand from one to the other behind his back.

Worth mentioning about Discofox dancing

Besides the very well known steps, there are also the rather unknown Travolta steps in the repertoire of Discofox. These refer to John Travolta, the main actor of “Saturday Night Fever”, who has so after the appearance in this film also furthermore his place in the Discofox safe.

How does Discofox work?

In the basic steps of Discofox, the man takes a step forward with the left foot, followed by a step forward with the right foot and finished by the left foot trailing next to the right foot. Then the left foot takes a step back again, the right foot does the same and the left foot pulls, again without load, to the same height as the right foot. The woman does the same at the same time but mirror-inverted.

How fast can one learn Discofox?

Discofox can be learned relatively fast, because it is a simple and uncomplicated dance. So you get the basic steps very fast and then you can dare to do more complicated figures and movements.

How many Discofox Figures are there?

There seems to be an infinite number of Discofox figures, so that it is impossible to list them all. Among the most famous figures are the pretzel, the ladies solo and the change of place.

How to dance Discofox with turn?

Discofox with turn is a ladies’ solo. The woman moves out of the classical dance posture and turns once in a circle, while her right hand continues to hold the partner’s hand.

To which music can Discofox be danced?

Discofox can be danced to almost any music. The only requirement is a 4/4 time, which can be found in many songs and beats. So you can dance Discofox e.g. to disco hits, hit music, electronic music and soul music.

Where does Discofox come from?

Discofox originally comes from the USA, where it became known mainly as Hustle. Discofox was then further developed in Europe, where it got its current form.

Is Discofox a tournament dance?

Yes, Discofox is a competition dance and is danced at dance competitions all over the world.

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