The Cambodian American dancer, Andrew Mam will be introducing a new dance to Cambodia starting July 15th at the Raintree rooftop at 4 pm. Mam, who also goes by A-Game in the dance community has been dancing for almost 17 years as a b-boy and house dancer and about five years in a style that he will teach tomorrow called the New Style Hustle.
“You can imagine New Style Hustle as a type of salsa class, but to house music and it’s more influenced by street dance, It is less rigid — the least rigid partner dance out there,” Mam explained. “It is an updated form of the original hustle dance which originated from New York during the 70s in the gay and Puerto Rican communities and danced to disco music or early house[music].”
“New style is an updated version of the original and came from house dance and breaking to hip-hop to just really being free and not being full or rules or being rigid — which is what happened to the original hustle,” Mam continued. “Some people who were seeking freedom in the new generation of street dancers really helped developed the style of New Style Hustle.”
He accumulated the skills and techniques in New Style Hustle from two New Yorkers while he was living in the Bay Area, California. One who goes by the name of Elvis and the other was the originator of the style, Jeff Selby.
Travelling the world over the past decade, Mam has been dancing, battling, building, judging and attending events as part of the dancing community. The New Style Hustle was a dance he saw everywhere in his travels, except in Cambodia. Seeking to bring the dance to his mother country, Mam partnered with fellow dancer, Nikolas Snode, who had also started teaching the dance form in London. Together they set out to bring the New Style Hustle to Cambodia.
“What we wanted to achieve, was to bring this style to Cambodia,” Mam explained. “We really wanted to teach Khmer people honestly, I want to help Khmer people get more comfortable with touching each other [in dance] because it is a hands-on or hands touching kind of dance where you grab each other’s backs and dip. It can be very stylish or very sweet or can be very sensual depending on how you do it.”
The free dance lessons are meant to bring a community of dance lovers together and open themselves to more forms of dance. Beginners are welcome as they will teach the basic steps. Mam hopes by the end of the raining season, they can build a community strong enough to teach more dance classes in parks outside and offer more lessons to the public.
At the age of 29, Mam has already been recognized in Cambodia as the lead male in Laura Mam’s music video, “Sva Roam Monkiss” and various TV performances, as well as a 5-year stint with the famous dance group, Jabbawockeez.
New Style Hustle lessons will be held at Raintree at 4pm tomorrow, as the continuation of dance classes being introduced into Cambodia.