First Person

Courtesy of N Club Studio
Andrei Yegorov, 32, hustle dance teacher:

"Since I was a boy, I always wanted to understand how and why everything works. In fifth or sixth grade I took a closer look at physics, and when I was 18, I entered the quantum physics department at Moscow State University.

"While I studied, I attended dancing lessons at the university, and I enjoyed them very much. In 1996, I learned about the hustle and started to explore everything about it. In 1999, my future wife, Yevgenia, and I decided to establish a hustle disco, because at that time the only place to hustle was at the university.

"We founded N Club Studio at the Nagornaya Cultural Center and started to turn our dream into reality. Of course, there were not many people at first, because not many knew the hustle. So we started to provide lessons before each disco.

"It all started with the disco, but then people wanted to compete, and we started to hold balls, dancing parties and competitions. Later we created the Double Hustle, with one male and two female partners, and it turned into a competition. I was the Moscow Double Hustle champion in 2004. And my wife and I took bronze at the Russian Cup 2003.

"Hustle starts with a simple one, two, three, four, back and forward step and then evolves into switching places, spins and total improvisation. Plasticity and sense of rhythm are very important. There's theory and practice; it is not just physically challenging. A partner has to think through what move he is going to do next -- there are more than 100 moves -- and at the same time the woman has to understand what move her partner is about to make.

"My job as a teacher is to show a person that he can do the hustle, no matter how bad he is ... because if someone came to the class, I know that he or she wants to dance. Unfortunately my knowledge is not always enough, it depends on the person. I can show how it works, but practice makes perfect.

"I can't say that the lessons are profitable for us, it is mostly just to cover the center's rent. I also work as a programmer, and my wife is a designer. Teaching takes a lot of time from my main job, but it is not about money or time. It is something that we like to do, talking with people, providing them with something that makes them happy."