Today may be Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday, but the King’s music is still as young and vibrant as ever!
One of the 20th century’s most influential cultural icons, Elvis’ career spanned more than two decades and boasted commercial success in blues, gospel and of course, pop. With more than 600 million units sold worldwide, he is the best selling solo artist in history.
While Fred Astaire Dance Studios professionals can show people how to ballroom dance to just about any of Presley’s hits, here is a list of five timeless hits with a ballroom dance to match:
“Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” – Viennese Waltz A popular match for any wedding couple’s first dance, this classic song from Elvis’ 1961 film “Blue Hawaii” is regularly paired with this lovely dance. “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” features the necessary 60 beats per minute to fit the Viennese Waltz, while the romantic lyrics pair nicely with this elegant and graceful dance.
“Jailhouse Rock” – Jive When the warden threw a party in the county jail, the inmates were definitely doing the Jive! This dance style, original to the United States, pairs terrifically with America’s original Rocker. Check out this clip from the BBC hit show, “Strictly Come Dancing” (think “Dancing with the Stars”) as competitors perform this high-octane dance to Presley’s timeless classic.
“Hound Dog” – East Coast Swing A rhythm dance with both 6- and 8-beat patterns, the East Coast Swing goes well with one of the more controversial hits from Elvis’ collection. Whether fans consider Presley’s 1956 hit a true cover or not, “Hound Dog” hits all the right notes to go with this fun dance with its distinguishing bounce, triple steps and swaying hip movements.
“Heartbreak Hotel” – West Coast Swing Well, we couldn’t leave out the left coast, could we? Unlike its more upbeat sibling from the east, West Coast Swing is considered a more formal, sensual dance where the dancers stay in a rectangular slot on the dance floor, moving in an up and down position. “Heartbreak Hotel’s” heavy reverberation and slow tempo make it a perfect fit.
“It’s Now or Never” – Rumba The slowest of the five competitive international ballroom dances, the Rumba’s slow movements blend well with one of Elvis’ most popular ballads. The song spent five weeks as the No. 1 record in the United States in 1960 and reappeared atop the British charts with its re-release in 2005. Check out this hot rendition from the 2010 Fred Astaire Dance Studios showcase.
What’s your favorite Elvis Presley song to dance to? Share your favorites with us!