Elvis Presley Iconic Dance Moves Once Almost Got Him Arrested

by Emily Morgan
(Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

He’s one of the world’s most prolific singers, beloved by many. Yet many may not know that the undisputed King of Rock-n-Roll was once almost arrested. Hilariously, the police didn’t arrest Elvis Presley for something heinous or criminal. Instead, they took issue with his dance moves.

Elvis first garnered attention when he wowed the world with his dance moves and swinging hips. While some loved it, others took offense to the motions, going so far as to say they were lewd and promiscuous.

In 1957, Elvis had a sold-out show at the Pan Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles. Before going on stage, police warned Elvis that he could no longer gyrate his hips during the performance.

In addition, the local press picked up the story and ran headlines saying Elvis would have to present himself in a more wholesome manner.

During the show, the Los Angeles Vice Squad filmed his concert to make sure Elvis wasn’t engaging in the obscene dance moves. After scrutinizing the footage, police couldn’t find a reason to arrest Elvis.

Police Despised Moves of Elvis Presley, While Fans Couldn’t Get Enough

Even though some found his movements to be vulgar, many of his loyal fans couldn’t get enough of his hip movements. His iconic dancing even earned him the nickname “Elvis the Pelvis.”

A year before police warned Elvis, he revealed why he chose to dance in a particular racy manner. “I just get kinda in rhythm with the music,” Elvis said. “I jump around to it because I enjoy what I’m doin’. I’m not tryin’ to be vulgar, I’m not tryin’ to sell any sex… I just enjoy what I’m doin’ and tryin’ to make the best of it.”

Decades after fans first got a look at his bawdy mannerisms, he remains a permanent fixture in pop culture. During an interview, Priscilla Presley stated that if he were alive, he would be astonished at the level of fame he’s garnered.

“Elvis would never have believed that his home is now a museum but would have loved it and would have been the first tour guide because that is the first thing he did, was show his place,” she said.