How to do elvis dance moves

The origins of Elvis Presley's signature dance moves

While they might seem fairly tame by today’s standards, in the 1950s, Elvis Presley’s dance moves were nothing short of outrageous. All that hip-action smacked a little too strongly of sex for conservative tastes but for a generation of young people finding their own identity in the face of post-war conformity, it was part and parcel of something modern, fresh, and vital – rock ‘n’ roll. But where did those iconic dance moves originate? Well, to answer that question, we need to take a quick step back in time.

Of all the things Elvis is famous for popularising, perhaps the most well-known is his iconic ‘rubber legs’ dance move. You’d expect something so legendary to have been finely honed over decades of gigging, but in actuality, the move was born during Elvis’ first paid concert in 1954. While taking to the stage with Scotty Moore, his guitarist and Bill Black, his bassist, Presley found that he couldn’t stop his legs from shaking – being so nervous about performing in front of a paying audience.

But rather than trying to hide this involuntary reaction, Elvis decided to use it to his advantage – backing away from the mic during the instrumental sections of tracks and emphasising the shaking of his legs to the point that he seemed to be having some music-induced fit, as though the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll had entered his bloodstream like a shot of adrenaline. Presley not only managed to disguise his nerves but also sent the crowd into a frenzy, causing them to scream to such an extent that he nearly left the stage, fearing that he was being booed off.

But the roots of Presley’s dance moves may go back even further than that. In his own lifetime, Presley was accused of appropriating several aspects of his style from Black artists. Defending himself against such comments in an interview in 1957, Presley said: “A lot of people seem to think I started this business, but rock ‘n’ roll was here a long time before I came along.”

Adding: “Let’s face it: I can’t sing it like Fats Domino can. I know that. But I always liked that kind of music. I used to go to the coloured churches when I was a kid – like Rev. Brewster’s church (Rev. W. Herbert Brewster of East Trigg Ave. Baptist Church in Memphis)”.

Music and dance formed an important part of religious ceremonies in Baptist churches such as the one Elvis attended as a child. While the practice is largely associated with Pentecostal church-goers, some Black-led churches in the US provide forms of worship in which the Holy Ghost is invoked through music and dance, causing members of the congregation to flail limbs uncontrollably and – stereotypically at least – speak in tongues. Is it possible that Elvis’ style was informed by watching the people around him celebrate their religion during those childhood church services? It’s hard to say for sure, but considering everything else that made Elvis famous existed well before he popularised it among white Americans, I wouldn’t be surprised if the origins of those iconic dance moves go back further than 1954.

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Austin Butler Shows Off His Elvis Presley Impressions And Dance Moves

Actor Austin Butler recently showed just how well he immersed himself in his role as the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. The actor wrapped up filming for the Baz Luhrmann’s biopic in March 2022 after it was pushed back due to some COVID cases on set.

Since filming wrapped up, Butler revealed that he still had problems trying not to fall back to the accent. The 30-year-old said that a number of things triggered him to speak in the famous southern twang, and immersing himself in the role made it a fiber of his being.

Butler appeared in a show and gave the audience a run down of Presley’s voice impressions over the years, starting from when the artist was a teen to an adult. He also gave the host, Jimmy Fallon, some lessons on Presley’s dance moves.

Austin Butler Showed Off His Elvis Presley Impressions

Butler still hasn’t gotten over his recent lead role in Luhrmann’s “Elvis” biopic. The 30-year-old appeared on “The Tonight Show” and talked about his time in the movie and its continued impacts on his daily life. He said, “I’m on Jimmy Fallon talking about playing Elvis Presley … it just blows my mind.”

Butler also showed the audience of the show several impressions of the iconic singer between 1954 and 1972. These included Elvis’ voice and mannerisms, all of which the actor learned while he studied extensively to play the character.

“He’s nervous— his voice, at the time, you speak a lot faster when you’re nervous,” Butler explained while talking about the 19-year-old version of Presley. He also gave an impression of the singer’s voice when he was 21-year-old as well. As for Presley in 1972, Butler revealed that at the time, the singer’s voice went “more forward than to his face.”

Butler Taught Fallon The ‘Shake, Rattle And Roll’


On the show, Butler took the conversation a step further by taking Fallon through some of Presley’s most famous and iconic moves. While doing a move that he called “The side one,” he explained to the show host that he needed to move an arm “like a windmill” while keeping the other one down like he was “holding a cane.”

“That’s right,” Fallon said while he imitated Butler. “He’s the best.” When they stopped dancing, the actor opened up about his experience playing the iconic artist who died in 1977 at the age of 42. “Elvis… didn’t do choreography in the way that Michael [Jackson] did,” he explained. “It was all the music moving him.“

The 30-year-old added that although there were some notable moves the singer displayed that he had to be specific about, the rest of it was just the music moving him. “Obviously there are signature things that he did that you have to be specific about,” he added. “But it was all about the way that the music moved him.”

Butler Said He Talked Like Elvis Sometimes

In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Butler revealed that sometimes his voice slipped back into how he sounded while playing Presley even though filming ended months ago. According to him, immersing himself in the role for two years made it a fiber of his being.

“It’s one of those things where certain things trigger it,” he said. “When you live with something for two years and do nothing else, I think that you can’t help it. It becomes a fiber of your being.“

In a similar conversation with Elle Australia on July 6, the actor revealed that he was still struggling to shake off the Southern twang. He shared, “You spend so much time obsessing about one thing, and it really is like muscular habits, your mouth can change. It’s pretty amazing. I know that I’m constantly changing.” Butler then jokingly asked for fans to check in with him 20 years from now when he has played more roles. “Who knows what I’ll sound like!”

Austin Butler Said Playing Presley Felt Like A Weight On Him


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During the interview with Entertainment Tonight, Butler revealed that while playing Presley, he tried to portray the iconic artist as not just the King Of Rock And Roll but as a human figure. The 30-year-old also shed some light on how the responsibility of playing the famous cultural figure placed a “weight like I never felt before” on his shoulders.

“And there is a responsibility to his family and also putting his story into context,” he said. That’s the thing. There were so many misconceptions about him, there’s so many ideas of him. So I felt the responsibility to bring the humanity.”

Luhrmann’s “Elvis” biopic premiered at Cannes Film Festival held in France on May 25. After screening the film received a 12-minute standing ovation from the audience. “Elvis” will reportedly be released to theaters nationwide on June 24.


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Everyone dances rock and roll - Style - Kommersant

On April 13, the whole world celebrates the birthday of rock and roll - a musical direction associated with the time of rebellion and frenzied dancing. However, the historic event that marked the beginning of both this holiday and rock and roll culture in general occurred the day before. On April 12, 1954, American musician Bill Haley recorded the song "Rock Around The Clock", which became the first rock and roll hit and the anthem of an entire generation. "Kommersant Style" has compiled a selection of films where the most incendiary rock and roll is danced. nine0003

Photo: Getty Images

Prison Rock 'n' Roll

The third film by the king of rock and roll Elvis Presley is an absolute classic of both rock and roll culture and cinema. The protagonist of the film - the inveterate bully Vinson, performed by Elvis Presley, discovers his musical talent, perhaps in the most unexpected place for this - prison. It is there that he meets a friend and mentor, country music expert Hank Haughton, who will make the young man believe in his talent. The picture got its name in honor of the main soundtrack performed by Presley himself "Jailhouse Rock". The composition, which later became the hallmark of the singer, sounds especially bright in this film thanks to the incendiary dance. Against the backdrop of the prison scenery, Elvis Presley and other prisoners dance rock and roll so energetically and contagiously that you immediately want to move to the beat with them. By the way, Elvis Presley invented the whole dance himself. The hit "Jailhouse Rock" would later be ranked 67th on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and the film's music number would be named one of the best examples of the first music video. nine0003


The incredible plasticity of John Travolta, who has been dancing since the age of eight, is known to his fans from many films, but the musical film "Grease" brought the first fame and popularity to the actor, where Travolta dances and sings a lot. The premiere of a film about the life of high school students in the 1950s was accompanied by mass hysteria among the female part of the audience. They even began to talk about such a phenomenon as “travoltomania”. And all because of the young and charming John Travolta, who so harmoniously got used to the image of a high school rebel. At the same time, the style of the actors greatly influenced youth fashion 19In the 1970s, the characters' lines entered colloquial English, and the musical numbers from the film became part of the history of musical cinema. One "boyish" dance in a car repair shop to the song "Greased Lightning" is worth something.

Back to the Future

The most famous scene of the cult film is the performance of the protagonist Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) at the school prom. Here he performs the song "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry, to which ladies in puffy skirts and young men with high hairstyles famously dance in the school gym. Filming for the guitar solo took two weeks because the director wanted to make the sequence as believable as possible. According to the plot, during the performance of the protagonist, his bandmate Marvin Berry calls his cousin Chuck Berry and lets him listen to this song through the phone. As planned by the director, Berry allegedly overheard his hit through a telephone. In fact, Chuck Berry never had a cousin named Martin. nine0003


According to director John Waters, the film was meant to be a parody of musical youth films of the 1950s. Johnny Depp, who is very young here, plays a rebel and a handsome man who is capable of melting dozens of girlish hearts during his rock and roll performances, shedding only one tear at the end of the song. But at the same time, he himself falls in love with only one - the diligent girl Allison, who belongs to the clan of the rich and conservatives. The story of Romeo and Juliet of the 50s unfolds against the backdrop of dance and rock and roll. One of the highlights was the performance of Crybaby with the song "King Cry-Baby", under which no one in the auditorium can remain calm. nine0003


As you know, in the USSR in the 1950s, rock and roll was banned as a Western culture that promoted a way of life unsuitable for a Soviet person. About this difficult confrontation, director Valery Todorovsky shot his film "Stilyagi". And although the true rock and roll culture has passed Russia by, in "Stilyagi" there were a lot of things that the domestic audience liked. Bright outfits, unusual hairstyles, incendiary dances to the cult melodies of the 80s in rock and roll processing. Use American songs 1930-1950s, which the "dudes" themselves listened to in the Russian film, Todorovsky considered ridiculous. Therefore, the authors of the film opted for "Russian rock" in a new arrangement. Almost every song corresponds to a dance - boogie-woogie, blues or rock and roll, such as, for example, "My little Babe" performed by the hero Maxim Matveev.

Julia Akhmedova

How not to fall from Elvis Presley - DVK Media

It has become a good tradition to start the Amur Mosaic dancesport tournament with the phrase “it has become a good tradition…”. The 41st reason to come to the Palace of Aircraft Builders was no exception to enjoy the beauty of dancing couples and hear the cherished phrase from the permanent presenters Dmitry Predko and Roman Chechel.

However, what am I? This speech stamp is characteristic of most of the events in Russia, so Dmitry and Roman were not original in this, as well as the phrase itself. Nevertheless, the Amur Mosaic Festival, which brings together the leading dancers of the Far East, remains one of the main cultural events for Komsomolsk, and this was evident from the filled hall. nine0003

If we continue talking about traditions, the festival program is managed exclusively by them. As always, European and Latin American programs were presented, and the dances were all in place - jive, cha-cha-cha, tango, slow foxtrot, samba, rumba, Posadoble, slow and Viennese waltzes ...

By the way, do you know that in the 19th century the waltz was condemned and strictly regulated in many countries? In Vienna, for example, it was possible to waltz at balls for no more than 10 minutes. In Russia, by the efforts of Emperor Paul I, the dance was completely banned, as "depraved, cruel, cynical, leading to frenzy" and even as "an attack on family values." But time passed, and social principles became more favorable to the waltz - a beautiful, sensual dance in which the direct contact of partners is the key to the coherence of movements. nine0003

Host Dmitry Predko contributed his five kopecks at this moment, saying that "under the eyes of the audience, the dancers try to snuggle closer to each other." The participants themselves, commenting on this statement, shrug their shoulders, but, not wanting to contradict, confirm that yes, closer contact strengthens the connection between partners.

Unlike Dance Time, which takes place in the parquet hall of the Youth House, "Amur Mosaic", as already mentioned, is organized on the stage of the Palace of Aircraft Builders. And there are both pluses and minuses. On the one hand, the dancers have at their disposal excellent musical equipment, lighting effects, and a huge multimedia screen. On the other hand, there is much weaker contact with the audience, whom the participants practically do not see in the spotlight, which means they feel less support. And no matter what the presenters do in terms of interaction, it is much more difficult to bring viewers and participants closer together. And even the release of “lyalek” on the stage, that is, the smallest participants in the tournament, touches only their parents. nine0003

Well, judge for yourself, to the question why you need to dance, none of the “lyaleks” could intelligibly answer, and the token in the form of another question “what will your parents give you for going on stage?” turns out to be more than a dozen years old .

— I have been dancing for 12 years and I remember very well how I went on this stage as a child, — says Valeria Noskova. - And they also asked me what I want to receive from my parents for a good performance. I honestly don't remember what I ordered.

But Valeria's partner in those days was fond of the Lego Bionicle toy, so this constructor was the main request for a gift.

On the other hand, the tradition of bringing guests to the tournament with a show program is a really good gift for the audience. And this time, a couple Evgenia Churikova and Maxim Elfimov came to Amur Mosaic 2019 - vice-champions of Russia in Latin American shows, finalists of the World Championship in the same discipline, champions of the Far Eastern Federal District and the Khabarovsk Territory in Latin American dances. Evgenia and Maxim showed a number of enchanting dance numbers in between the stages of the Amur Mosaic final. But the most difficult and striking was the final one - "Elvis Presley". Already in the last seconds of the composition, the edging of Evgenia's dress was torn, and she almost stepped on it, risking falling. But the skill allowed her to cope with the situation, so that the audience did not notice anything. But the camera was able to capture this moment, and you can see it in the video file attached to the material on the website of our newspaper. nine0003

Evgenia is a Khabarovsk resident, and when she met Maxim, who is from Kazakhstan himself, she was able to captivate him so much that he became her partner and also moved to Khabarovsk himself.

“Amur Mosaic” has always been a good example for us, but it so happened that today we visited this tournament for the first time after a long break, says Evgeniya. – It was Mosaic that became a springboard for our growth.

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