The Electric Slide vs. Lathan

January 26th, 2007

Yesterday I got a notice from YouTube that the video of me performing The Electric Slide on stilts on the Today Show has been removed as a result of a third party claiming that the material was infringing. Now I figured this “third party” was either from NBC or Hasselhoff or maybe even Regis. But it was neither of them. It came from a website called: 

Besides the image of Spiderman dancing around, the site is a little hard to follow. After sifting through several legal documents I finally gathered that the owner of the site is none other than the guy who invented The Electric Slide. His name: Ric Silver. And Ric means business.

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According to his website (scroll down towards the bottom), Ric not only invented The Electric Slide (back in 1975 for the re-opening of the Vamps disco on 71st and Broadway), but he also single handedly invented several other dances, such as “Locking”, “Poppin’”, “The Weeble”, ”The Robot”, “Breakdancing” (all by himself), and something known as “The Texas Silver Star”.

Also, this guy is well connected. Just take a look at all of the celebrity stars he’s linked to (after reading his bio “My Life on Earth is Short”, scroll down to the bottom). The range of stars Ric knows is endless. There’s Charles Michael Adler (or Beanie), Christopher Jones from “Wild in the Street”, Bobby from “The Boys in the Band”, David Ogden Stires (who’s shoes may or may not “Look Swell”), Cher, and finally, The Rock.

So as you can see, Ric is a very powerful man. Still… I’m gonna fight him with everything I’ve got! And you know what that is, right? My trusty pair of shiny red stilts.

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For Ric never thought to perform The Electric Slide…on stilts. Did ya Ric? Huh? You only thought the dance could work on LEVEL GROUND. Well guess what, Ric-mesiter? It works a whole lot better three feet up in the air. I’m taking The Electric Slide to a whole new frontier! A place where the laws of gravity simply don’t apply. From my vantage point, way up here on my slilts, your little pip-squeek “electric slide” dance might as well have training wheels attached to it. 

So there you have it. I’m gonna do my best to fight the powers that be involved with The Electric Slide. Er…actually…can I? Any lawyers out there? Here’s a link to the procedure for sending a counter notice to YouTube.

23 Responses to “The Electric Slide vs. Lathan”

  1. Will Says:

    Your life is scripted.

  2. ripley Says:

    I don’t think you can copyright a dance, only a recording of the dance.

    So you may be off the hook, my friend. and YouTube might be off its rocker. I am not a lawyer but I am in a law school and I think I remember this kind of issue before. Sans stilts though.

    but you should definitely send the notice that you got to “Chilling Effects”

  3. Lathan Says:

    Actually you’re right about that, Will. I sold the rights of my life to the author Augusten Burrows. He’s been hard at work coming up with various scenarios for me to act out in real life. So yeah, I guess my life is scripted.

  4. Lathan Says:

    Thanks Ripley! Yeah I’ll send over the notice to Chilling Effects.

  5. bethany Says:

    The same guy sent a DMCA complaint to youtube and my video was deleted, which depicted a group of my friends wearing masks and dancing the slide to a midi version of the song. Incredible!! Copyright law needs to change, but someone should fight this idiot. Good luck!

  6. Lathan Says:

    Wow, I can’t believe he got your video deleted as well, Bethany. Thanks for passing that along. It seems like this guy is just scouring youtube for anything with a hint of the electric slide in it and then demanding that it be deleted. You’d think he’d want his dance that he “invented” to be spread all over the internet.

  7. qDot Says:

    You are not alone. Every video referring to the electric slide is being DMCA’d, and this has apparently been going on for a while. My video, which features a small clip of people at a concert doing the dance, was also DMCA’d. I’m sending in a counter-claim this evening, as his copyright only covers the videotape of him teaching the dance, not the dance itself.

    More info on the research I’ve done at

  8. Kat Says:

    I just heard this from qdot as well. I say fight it. This has to be the most stupid thing I ever seen. How petty. Capitalism stinks!

  9. bethany Says:

    Is it possible that we could band together and fight him legally?

  10. Lathan Says:

    Yeah let’s fight him! Count me in. I don’t have any legal expertise. But I’m on board for whatever.

  11. Mike Says:

    Here’s an interesting thought…do you think Ric (who I hear also invented cheese, ponytails and the “square knot”) got permission from the fine folks at Marvel Comics to have Spiderman (and Wolverine?) dancing “The Slide” on HIS site? Looks to me like he’s infringing on their well protected property…shame on you Ric! You, of all people, should know better!

  12. Outguessing the machine » The Electric Slide: Considered Harmful Says:

    [...] Now, the alleged creator of that old line dance, The Electric Slide, is nuking videos from peoples’ weddings, school dances, and other materials showing people performing the dance, off of Youtube and other places using DMCA (copyright) complaints. Highlighted in the CNN article is a takedown notice received by qdot (who I’m vaguely familiar with as a result of the TranceVibe project), for a videoblog he posted from a dance at a furry convention in San Jose**… I saw the video. In the grainy darkness you can vaguely make out that people in animal costumes are dancing, and with a bit of imagination you can see a few steps of Electric Slide in there, barely. Electric Slide Guy is also going after someone who danced a variant of it on stilts on The Today Show (and presumably, the Today Show itself), The Ellen DeGeneres Show, an associate professor of exercise science, and “several Hollywood companies” for featuring the dance somewhere. [...]

  13. » Blog Archive » The Electric Slide vs. Lathan Part 2 Says:

    [...] « The Electric Slide vs. Lathan [...]

  14. Shinobi Says:

    Just wanted to say good luck, I hope you win!

  15. dave cisar Says:

    Ive not seen anything like that. But it looks like it takes some real athletic talent to do. I would like to see how this guy would be on the football field as a Single Wing Tailback.

  16. rainbowwwarrior Says:

    hello from austria – europe
    we, that means me, my wife and three friends performed the dance at a birthday party and published the video on youtube too.
    yesterday it was blocked by youtube too. funny what is possible in the usa. i,m lucky to be in good old europe, where such rubbish like the DMCA is not working.
    now you can download my “evil” video here:

    the best wishes in your fight against this lousy rat.


  17. Ashley Says:

    You know what is the dumbest dance every “invented?” The electric slide. If some moron is hell-bent on claiming fame to it…then he needs to go back to the hermit hole he came from….this is seriously ridiculous!

  18. El Diablo en los Detalles | Crónicas Marcianas I: The Electric Dance Says:

    [...] Y Ric, como cualquier persona en su (in)sano juicio, decidió  usar el poder de Google y YouTube para encontrar a todos estos piratas bailarines, que se han atrevido a ejecutar su obra sin  su bendición, y pedir compensación económica o que bajen los videos de sus sitios. La duda que me asalta es: ¿Si soy suficientemente malo para bailar, y no puedo bailar ni uno de los 22 pasos, todavía me puede demandar este renacuajo? [...]

  19. oldtimer Says:

    actually, Mr. Silver copied the Electric Slide from an old dance some New Englanders will remember as the “Hully Gully”. Danced at most weddings, it is too similar to be coincidence….

  20. relections from aggieville Says:

    This dance is called the bus stop.
    And we danced in back in the day in aggiville Manhattan Kansas

  21. Mike Taylor Says:

    Hiya Rob…

    You stick with it. There are many people who now believe that Ric Silver has no rights (legal or other) regarding the dance ‘The Electric… or whatever’…

    It would also appear now that this ‘poor soul’(?) is about to sue the writer and singer of the song because (according to him) they have put out a video of the dance to go with the music.. but its the 18 count version.
    If you want to read more about the guy.. then go to..

    … but hurry.. Ric Silver has a habit of changing his story when certain facts are presented.

    Happy reading…

  22. Daniel Says:

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article The Electric Slide vs. Lathan, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  23. » Blog Archive » Crazy Legs Get the Best of Me Says:

    [...] as “Crazy Legs”. From a stint on the Today Show, to a SugaBabes music video, to a battle with the inventor of the Electric Slide – my trusty stilts have never let me down. Until last [...]

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