Elvis Presley had something a lot of people didn’t have — a talent so contagious it would captivate audiences, help to redefinine genres, and remain influential over 50 years later.
He also had a captivating sense of rhythym and motion that made him that much more entertaining as a performer.
Elvis Presley’s Rhythm and Dancing
The official Elvis Presley Twitter account shared a quote from The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself, “Rhythm is something you either have or don’t have, but when you have it, you have it all over.”
As it turns out, he may have had just a little too much rhythm to some people back in the 1950s. His dancing was considered by some groups of people to be “vulgar” and “suggestive.” Some were concerned it would have a negative impact on teenagers at thee time.
He had a way of shaking, grinding, and gyrating in a simply unheard-of way. It has certainly become the Elvis way and would lead to millions of screaming, devoted fans at his performances. His music, movies, and fashion would have a major impact on teenage youth culture at the time.
For example, on June 5, 1956, Elvis Presley had one performance that continues to stand out. He went on “The Milton Berle Show” and performed “Hound Dog.” He had set his guitar down and started to swing his hips and cause a national scandal.
Despite some condemning of Elvis Presley and his music, young fans adored everything about him. According to History.com, by the end of 1955, he had completed 18 months of nonstop touring. He also had about two dozen singles and several hits on the Country and Western charts.
Elvis Presley is often credited for forming a style of music known as rockability. This was a fusion of country-western music, rhythm and blues, and pop music. The combination would have a major impact on the rising image and popularity of the rock ‘n’ roll world.
He didn’t in any sense invent rock ‘n’ roll music, but his approach and style was widely popular in the 1950s.
How He Developed Dance Moves
Elvis Presley was known for dance moves like the Pole Dance, The Pelvis, The Slide, and his most popular, Rubber Legs. It’s part of the reason he would get the nickname Elvis the Pelvis, although he always hated that nickname.
According to Woman’s World, Elvis Presley performed his first concert in 1954 in Memphis, Tennessee. He was so nervous that his legs actually started to shake. As he backed away from the mic during the instrumental breaks, his legs would quiver and shake below him.
Somehow, this evolved into an intentional and captivating dance move.
At the end of the day, Elvis Presley was never trying to be scandalous. He was just following the rhythm and listening to his body.