The man who was known as 'Snakehips'

Topics Weekend Reads

There are many mysteries about the dancer Earl Tucker, but the meaning of his stage name isn’t one of them. To understand why he was called Snakehips, you have only to watch him move. Take his solo routine in the 1930 short film Crazy House.

About 30 seconds in, Tucker rolls his hips to one side. He rolls them so far that his torso tilts in counterbalance, his ankles sickle over, and his whole body bends into an S-curve of improbable depth. He reverses the shape — first churning slowly, then at twice and four times the speed,.

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