The untold truth of Ellen's DJ, Stephen 'tWitch' Boss

Hollywood has its fair share of fascinating stories and yet, stories like that of Stephen 'tWitch" Boss can still surprise. Boss first got popular on the fourth season of So You Think You Can Dance in 2008, according to Alabama.com. The dancing show reality gig led to a chance meeting with guest host Ellen DeGeneres, which of course led to Boss becoming a DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and then later, Ellen's Game of Games

From humble beginnings, Boss built a career though many famous inspirations, and along the way picked up a cool nickname that actually has multiple origin stories. Did you know this ripped dancer is actually a nerd at heart? Though, he certainly played anything from a nerd in one of his most popular movies, which we'll get to in a moment. 

Do you think you can dance like this silky-smooth DJ? Let's pop-and-lock our way through the untold truth of Ellen's DJ, Stephen "tWitch" Boss.

How exactly did 'tWitch' get his nickname?

Stephen "tWitch" Boss earned his moniker during adolescence, as so many do. See, Boss' special style of dance is the famous "popping" — jerky, almost robotic movements — so his peers felt "tWitch" seemed appropriate, via NBC. Boss confirmed in an interview with Kam Williams that the nickname went all the way back to his childhood, when he was "always spinning and staying in motion." Of course, the word twitch doesn't always have the most flattering connotation, but Boss had no issue dragging it into adulthood. "I don't mind it at all," he told Williams, "because it's a part of my being. It's become part of my persona, when it comes to dance."

Yes, Boss dances with a specific flair, but he also claimed the nickname came from his old car. According to Alabama.com, he had an old, mildly reliable Toyota Paseo from the 1990s, which he affectionately called Twitch. In his words, "I took (the name) Twitch when I was about 20 years old because that was when I first started dancing, going places and teaching dance, and a lot of my dance knowledge and a lot of my dance thoughts took place in that car." Boss said while driving all around Alabama, he'd "choreograph in the car." Pretty impressive, considering the close quarters inside a vehicle, right?

After his debut on So You Think You Can Dance, Boss earned a second nickname. According to Reuters, his smile and charming ways led to "Mr. Personality."

How did Ellen's DJ make the magical jump to the big screen?

According to his IMDB page, Stephen "tWitch" Boss' first major screen appearance was as an uncredited actor — specifically, "Flamboyant Dancer" — in the 2007 comedy Blades of Glory. How provocative. After some other roles, for example in Step Up 3D, Boss made the big leap to a featured player in Magic Mike XXL. In an interview for Paste, Boss explained that Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Magic Mike himself, Channing Tatum, were both big fans of So You Think You Can Dance. He said that after Dewan-Tatum came on as a guest judge, "during one of the breaks, she pulled me aside and told me that they were making a sequel for Magic Mike and my name was being tossed around."

The team found a place for Boss and his acting didn't disappoint. Plus, the movie's biggest star, Tatum — who had a real stripping past — had only the highest praise for Boss. According to PopSugar, Boss was the first person to come to Tatum's mind as the best dancer in Magic Mike XXL.

Is dancing Stephen 'tWitch' Boss' superpower?

As far as hobbies go, a professional dancer may often lean towards music and other art forms. For Stephen "tWitch" Boss, his secret love comes in the form of comics. More specifically, "Superman is my favorite," Boss told TV Guide. He loves The Man of Steel so much that he even likes to dress a bit like the superhero. Referring to his thick-frame glasses, Boss admitted in an interview with Reuters, "I am a very big Superman fan. So that Clark Kent look is what the glasses is about."

Boss' Instagram account is full of references showing his love for Supes. First, Boss posted a photo of him and his groomsmen — the guys revealed a t-shirt with their favorite superhero beneath each formal suit. Naturally, Boss is front and center with his Superman shirt. Then for Boss' honeymoon, he posted a video on Instagram of himself dressed in a Superman costume while bungee jumping. Of course, he took a running leap and with outstretched arms like the superhero. Later, he showed off his two dogs, named Krypto and Luna Lane.

Ellen's DJ is no one-trick pony

There's really no debate about Stephen "tWitch" Boss being an insanely good dancer. According to his IMDB page, almost all of his early credits involve busting a move, whether that meant appearing as himself and strutting some moves on TV, or appearing in big budget dance movies like Step Up 3D and Stomp the Yard 2: Homecoming. But while he could easily stick to this style, Boss had many other talents that he wanted to nurture. 

"I would prefer mostly acting, but I would like to still like to be in the dance world, as well," Boss told Kam Williams, adding, "I've been studying acting in preparation for the next opportunity where a role comes along that isn't attached to a dance component." Sure enough, Boss took that first leap — no, not the dancing kind — when he joined Ellen DeGeneres as the house DJ for her daytime series The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2012. He  also appeared as a police officer in the 2016 Ghostbuster reboot.

Where 'tWitch' first pulled on his dancing shoes

Fortunately, Stephen "tWitch" Boss didn't grow up in Elmore City, Okla. — the religious town that once banned dancing and loosely inspired the classic film Footloose, according to IFC. But, he grew up in Montgomery, Ala., where he "was raised religious, for the most part," he said in an interview with Kam Williams. Of course, that city is perhaps most famous for its role in the civil rights movement, a fact not lost on Boss at all. "Its history is very deep, and I'm so grateful to be from there," Boss told Williams, adding, "It really helps me in my day-to-day life. It helped me establish my values, my base of who I am and how I feel about things." 

Though he started dancing as a kid, Boss didn't think seriously about dancing as a career until high school. In fact, he even planned to join the Navy if So You Think You Can Dance failed to work out, according to Reuters. Luckily, Boss drew inspiration from his classmates, who performed ballet, jazz, and other styles of dance of which he was previously "ignorant." This challenged him to ... step up and start taking dance seriously as a possible career track.

Ellen's DJ learned that personal hygiene can be painful

Stephen "tWitch" Boss is known for a lot of incredible moments — ones that leave viewers' mouths agape. And there's no doubt that pulling off incredible dance moves has the tendency to leave a sore muscle or two. But one time, Boss' boss, Ellen DeGeneres, arranged for the world to see his pain at the hands of an esthetician. Yes, Boss endured his very first wax live on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In preparation for his role as a stripper in Magic Mike XXL, the hair had to go. But for such a large and athletic guy, it must have been easy, right? After the experience, he admitted to PopSugar, "Oh, I didn't like it. I didn't like it at all. The experience was incredibly painful, but the results were smooth."

Sure, waxing is usually painful but maybe the results are worth it. Well, not according to Boss. In an interview with Vibe, he recommended that guys don't ever try it. Boss may even have a future career as an anti-wax spokesperson. He admitted, "The good thing about it was I've now become an advocate for anybody who says they don't wanna wax anymore."

Was "tWitch" in love with (being) a stripper?

When Stephen "tWitch" Boss signed on for the sequel of Magic Mike — 2015's Magic Mike XXL — the movie clearly came with some prerequisites. For one, learning how to wear a thong, mankini, banana hammock, you get the idea. What did the dancer think about his first time in such little fabric? Boss told PopSugar that it was "slightly painful, the first couple of steps." But he also admitted, "Yeah, then you get used to it, oddly enough, you do."

As far as dancing, Boss admitted to the New York Post that he stripped for fun at high school parties when the "spirit just moved [him] and somehow the shirt ended up off." Still, Boss needed a signature song for his solo stripping performance in the movie. After plenty of exploration, he landed on "Sex You" by Bando Jonez. Plus, the preparation for the role involved more than just listening to music. In an interview with Paste, Boss said that for his extensive research, he "didn't visit any strip clubs but [he] watched more videos of male entertainers than [he] would like to say that [he] did."

Even with all his hard work, Boss still wanted to keep a few family members from seeing the film to support him. To avoid awkward holiday conversations, he told PopSugar, "My grandparents are not going to see this movie, and my in-laws will not be seeing this movie."

It was love at first dance for Stephen 'tWitch' Boss

In a truly heartwarming story, two dancers — Stephen "tWitch" Boss and Allison Holker — met and fell in love. Both Boss and Holker were on separate seasons of So You Think You Can Dance but came together for the "all-star" seventh season, according to Boss' NBC profile. As Holker explained in an interview for Hollywood Life, "We never went on a first date. Never had a conversation longer than 'hello' and 'how are you?' We shared a dance together and have been together ever since." It's not to say she didn't send some signals early on. As Holker told Ask Men, "I touched his butt in a rehearsal and he still didn't get the hint!"

Since those early days, the pair went on to build an incredible family. Boss told Mini Magazine that his relationship with Holker worked by being complementary to one another. In his words, "We are quite literally the yin and yang. The ebb and flow. One's struggle is the other's strength." And in 2019, Boss and Holker welcomed their third child together. The dad shared his happy news via an Instagram post.

Stephen 'tWitch' Boss lends a helping hand

The man once referred to as "Mr. Personality" — Stephen "tWitch" Boss — clearly got his name from being more than just a pretty face and dancer. In fact, he and his wife Allison Holker have both been involved in philanthropic activities. For example, the pair partnered with JetBlue to ensure that children have access to books.

According to the JetBlue press release, its Soar with Reading program provided free books to children in underserved communities via a vending machine. In an interview with AskMen, Boss said the partnership worked so well because "they're doing something that helps kids who are the same age as ours become better learners." He added that with his wife and kids, "we love reading together we want to encourage every family to make that a part of their routine."

Additionally, in an interview with Kam Williams, Boss shared his charitable goals in the future. Boss said that once he became famous enough, he would "build a community center in [his] hometown, Montgomery, Alabama."

The origins of Stephen 'tWitch' Boss' dance moves

No one is born with a pair of tap shoes on, so the moves must come from somewhere. For Stephen "tWitch" Boss, his inspiration came from the King of Pop. In an interview for Alabama.com, Boss said Michael Jackson was his favorite dancer. Furthermore, Jackson inspired Boss to start dancing. When talking about his dancing hero, Boss said, "With Michael, when he was onstage every single movement that he did, even if he just titled [sic] his head and the rest of him was still standing still you could still feel his movement and I could never not watch him."

Then, Boss' high school cast him in the Jackson-led The Wizard of Oz spin-off, The Wiz. It was during rehearsals that he "had to learn choreography and that's when [his] mind was blown," Boss told Vibe. From that moment, he started forming his personal style by watching his classmates and music videos.

Even since going pro, Boss still finds inspiration from all over. Take for example, his boss Ellen DeGeneres. He told the New York Post that he watched DeGeneres for a few moves in preparation for his role as a stripper in Magic Mike XXL. He said, "I get to watch her dance every day, so of course I picked up on certain moves that she likes to do." Um, is he watching the same show we watch? 

Competition in stripping got intense

For Magic Mike XXL — a movie set full of many shirtless men playing male strippers — it's no surprise that competition started. Even people with limited roles brought their A-game. For example, Stephen "tWitch" Boss admitted to the New York Post that he thought Michael Strahan — once a professional football player — had amazing moves. "He took it 100 percent serious," Boss said. But in an interview with Vibe, Boss actually clarified that it wasn't a totally ego-centric and testosterone filled set. And if there was any competition, "it was healthy and it was more supportive than anything."

Still, the demands of being on the big screen may have fueled Boss' intense workout regimen. Even his costar Channing Tatum called Boss out for his time in the gym. In an interview with PopSugar, Boss revealed, "Channing gets on me because I work out too much." To be fair, Boss danced alongside some gigantic guys. As Boss told Vibe, "I was just trying to keep up with Joe [Manganiello]. He looks like Superman." True.

How much is Ellen's DJ worth?

In high school, Stephen "tWitch" Boss first realized that dancing could be more than just a hobby. Boss noticed studio dancers in the background of music videos and realized "you can have a career in dancing," he told Vibe. Boss certainly made that dream come true after appearing on So You Think You Can Dance, several movies from the Step Up franchise, and Magic Mike XXL.

He also earns a pretty penny for his role as a DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Boss earns a rumored $500,000 for his work on the daytime show. Boss also landed a gig as the the announcer and sidekick on Ellen's Game of Games, which allegedly came with a $1 million per year contract. All-in-all, Boss is worth an estimated $5 million.

In 2019, the Los Angeles Times reported that Boss listed his beautiful Sherman Oaks home for sale for $1.299 million. He purchased the home in 2015, so maybe Boss is adding more space with his earnings for child number three and the rest of the family.