Julia Louis-Dreyfus says Elaine's tragic dancing on Seinfeld came with the help of a special test audience: her family.
In a recent interview on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon asks Louis-Dreyfus about the origins of her famous moves.
"Well this is how it happened," she said. "The writers wrote the script, I got it the night before the table read, right? And it says Elaine dances weird, but they didn't say how or anything so I thought, uhhh... So I got in front of the mirror and I tried out a couple of movements that I thought looked horrible. I came down to the kitchen and my husband was there and my mom was visiting at the time. I said, 'Okay guys, tell me which one of these is worse.' And I did it for them and they chose that one, and that's the one that I did in the show."
Louis-Dreyfus adds that filming required a small trick on set. "One thing most people don't know is that of course there's music playing when you watch that episode," she says. "But when we actually shot it, we couldn't play music because all of a sudden those herky-jerky movements would have been to the beat. I couldn't separate it ... it had to be completely off rhythm."
"That's just a way of me defending myself so you don't think I really dance like that," adds Louis-Dreyfus. "I actually do have a little bit of rhythm—not tons, but I've got it.
The dance will live forever, but there's a specific reason people are talking about it more than usual these days. Recently, President Donald Trump busted a move at a campaign rally and it immediately went viral. Louis-Dreyfus retweeted a gif from The Lincoln Project, a political action committee working to prevent his re-election, and added her own two cents:
Seinfeld co-star Jason Alexander, who played George Constanza, echoed the sentiment.
Once the current hype dies down, Louis-Dreyfus still has to accept that the dance will follow her for the rest of her life.
"I can tell you if I go to a wedding or something where's there's dancing and I hit the dance floor, I feel all eyes on me," she tells Fallon. "It's a very self-conscious thing so there's massive pressure to really move like I know what I'm doing."