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 of 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 Right” 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.
All of the moves in this article complete your Elvis costume! Another important part(of any successful Elvis costume is a good wig, which you can find at any online costume wig (store that has afro wigs, clown wigs, and the like. Another classic move of Elvis’ was used in the video for “Jailhouse Rock”. 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, there 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 Elvis wig that will stay on when you “Shake, Rattle and Roll”!