Hustling for Health in Detroit’s North End

“Hustle for Health” was introduced by the Storehouse of Hope, a North End client choice food pantry, to ignite the many women and girls who come through the pantry and encourage improvement of their health. I instruct the class along with my assistant instructor, Marsha Brown. With many statistics and articles nowadays showing the need for more fitness for us all, what better time than the present to Hustle for health!

The class is held every Thursday, 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the dining room at St. Matthew’s & St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, 8850 Woodward Ave., Detroit. The classes were made possible through an Active Living Detroit Mini-Grant jointly sponsored by Healthy Environments Partnership and the Detroit Food & Fitness Collaborative.

Hustle (or Line Dance) started in clubs to get a large amount of people on the dance floor to enjoy whatever the hottest record was at the time so that everyone, including “Wallflowers,” would have an opportunity to enjoy themselves. Today, it’s not just in clubs, but at family reunions, birthday parties, church picnics, wedding receptions, etc. It still encourages everyone to come together, even if you don’t know the steps, to try it and have a good time.

By definition, Hustle is an American dance that originated in the 1970s. It is traditionally danced to club hits of both the 1970s as well as contemporary ones. The dance is designed to be highly dynamic, flashy, and powerful. Although its movement history is rooted in a six-count basic step, the final form of the dance is a three-count basic step with some extended patterns and syncopations. Today, there are hundreds of hustles that have different counts. Though the counts vary, it’s an awesome way to socialize and exercise – and is a positive outlet to introduce fun back in your life. And that’s just what we do at Storehouse of Hope every Thursday night.

All ages can do the Hustle, and in my Storehouse of Hope class, ages range from two years old (yes two!) to 92 years old. And for the most part, they are just coming to have a great time, get into the atmosphere, and enjoy fitness.

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