I moved to Atlanta in 1996, I was 18 and briefly attended a high school near Northlake Mall in DeKalb. That's when I first saw the dance that would become the "Crank Dat____" insert title here.
The best discussion I've seen so far about the phenomenon is probably here, at HateOnMe
Now these dudes claim they came up with the dance called it "crank dat roosevelt" and did it about 3 or 4 years ago.
I got the clip off an old friend, Jordan Merz, who djs for eastvillageradio's baller's eve, he posted it in 2007. So we can guess that the dance was being done in 2003-04.
But, I'm telling you that dance-style was around when I was 18, like '96.
I just want to put that out there and I'm curious to know if anyone out there can corroborate what I'm claiming here: over 12 years ago kids in Atlanta were dancing like this:
How To Crank Dat Soulja Boy- Instructions - Celebrity bloopers here