Complete Your Elvis Costume by Learning to Dance Like Elvis
Elvis was a celebrity who really cemented his place in the history
books, not only with his music, but with his dancing as well. His
performances were viewed as racy and inappropriate because of the
responses he elicited from the women and girls in his audience, There
is a lot of footage of girls screaming and crying while watching him
perform. He exhibits a certain playfulness and some Šof his moves are
very sexually suggestive.
To understand his dance moves throughout his career, we must look at
his early beginnings and where the moves came from in the first place.
In 1954 ˝That═s All Rightţ was released and played on the radio to
such success, that it may well be credited with his first
breakthrough. His sound had successfully melded black blues and boogie-
woogie music, which was exactly what Sam Phillips (then head of Sun
Records) was looking for. At his first paid gig at the Overton Park
Band Shell on July 30 of that year his legs began to shake
uncontrollably while performing. His loose wide-legged pants
accentuated the movement and it made the girls in the audience scream
with delight. They had never seen someone perform that way. It was
after this performance that Elvis began incorporating more of the leg
shaking movements into his act. The alternate leg bending moved into
pelvic gyrations and hip thrusts that were censored for many
audiences. He was often recorded on video only from the waist up.
To do this classic move stand with your legs wide apart and as you
lift your right heel off the ground, bend your right knee and begin to
rotate your knee in a circle. Let the circle get wider and wider, but
leave your toe in contact with the ground. You can come close to
flipping your foot so that the top of the toes are brushing the ground
during a rotation, and even bend the other leg to get lower down.
Another classic move of Elvis═ was used in the video for ˝Jailhouse
Rockţ. There was a fireman═s pole on the set of that shoot and he
would lean on the pole with his shoulder, and anchoring the pole
between his neck and shoulder leaning slightly forward, and with his
legs spread, move his head and sway his hips to the same side to the
beat of the music. His arms were also spread wide and his gaze was
lowered during this move.
Elvis was a black belt in Karate and also studied Ju-Jitsu, and had an
interest in other martial arts as well. As he continued performing and
evolving in his career has began incorporating some martial arts moves
into his act. Especially during his Vegas performances he is often
seen making kung fu movements with his hands and body. In his well
known jumpsuits, he would often throw in a roundhouse kick in the air
at a suitable moment in a song.
Whether you want to use his knocking knees, swaying hips, jelly legs,
pumping hips, or kung-fu kicks, Šthere is ample video online for help
getting it right. You═ll also want to notice his head movement. He
would often dance with such force that he would shake his hair loose,
which means a lot of head shaking. Whatever dance move you choose to
employ to pull of your Elvis impersonation, make sure that you have a
good wig that will stay on when you ˝Shake, Rattle and Rollţ !