How michael jackson learned to dance

Who Really Taught Michael Jackson the Moonwalk?

Michael Jackson’s debut of the moonwalk changed the game. Already a skilled dancer, Jackson’s new glide put him in a league of his own. The dance became synonymous with the King Of Pop. Jackson’s credited street dancers for the famous dance but there have been others who’ve insisted they taught the superstar Jackson kid the moonwalk. Bobby Brown recently spoke of his time dancing with Jackson, leaving many wondering who taught Jackson the iconic dance.

Michael Jackson 1987 | Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Michael Jackson debuts the moonwalk; Jackson says he learned the dance from street dancers

According to an ABC News article about Jackson’s moonwalk, Jackson first showed off the dance when he performed at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on March 25, 1983. The rest of the world did not see Jackson slide effortlessly across the stage until Jackson performed in the TV special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever.

Jackson hit the stage with his fedora, black sequin jacket, and white sparkling glove in tow. During the song’s bridge, he performed an impromptu choreographed routine, equipped with the moonwalk. The audience went wild. 

Source: YouTube

Related: Michael Jackson: Hall & Oates Said He Admitted He Stole ‘Billie Jean’ From Them

The performance would be lauded as the defining moment of Jackson as a solo artist. Each live performance of “Billie Jean” thereafter modeled his performance from Motown 25.

In a 1993 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jackson said he’d learned the dance from children who danced in their neighborhoods.

“The moonwalk came from the beautiful children, black kids that live in the ghetto, the inner cities who are brilliant and have that natural talent for dancing, any of them like the running man, they come up with these dances, all I did was enhance the dance,” he said.

Cooley Jaxson on teaching Michael Jackson the moonwalk

In a 2018 interview with ABC News, Cooley says he met Michael while he was working as a dancer Soul Train. Michael was interested in learning some new moves, one of which was known as “the backslide.”

“The backslide — you slide backward and [you] make you look like you’re walking forward. So it’s an illusion,” Cooley said. “The moonwalk is in a circular motion…like you’re floating in air…And you keep continuing in a circle,” he said.  

Michael Jackson 2002 | Michael Caulfield/WireImage

Cooley and a few other Soul Train dancers took time to work with Michael to perfect the dance. At first, he says Michael struggled to understand the concept of the dance.

“He [Michael] kept saying, ‘I can’t feel it. I can’t feel it,’ and we’re like, ‘Feel what? You just do it,'” Jaxson said. “[And Jackson said] ‘No, no, you don’t understand. I can’t feel it,’” Cooley said “He [Michael] wanted to feel that slide. He wanted to feel like he was moving forward but going backward. And once he got the feel, from my understanding, that’s when he performed on ‘Motown 25.'”

The Jackson siblings say Shalamar member taught Michael Jackson the moonwalk

The part about Jackson learning the moonwalk during a teaching at Soul Train may be true. But, the Jackson siblings say it was founding Shalamar member, Jeffrey Daniel, who taught Michael and not Cooley. Jackson’s siblings spoke about it on the television special, The One and Only Michael Jackson.

La Toya Jackson confirmed that the moonwalk was already a popular street dance. Daniel corroborated Cooley’s account of the dance being known as “the backslide.” “It’s like walking forward on an escalator that brings you back as you’re continuing to walk forward…that’s the illusion of the backslide,” Daniel said.

Michael Jackson and La Toya Jackson 1984 | Jeffrey Mayer / Contributor / WireImage

Related: The Michael Jackson Performance Beyoncé Watched ‘For Hours’

Michael publicly called the dance the moonwalk, which Daniel says is actually a term for a similar dance.

Bobby Brown says he taught Michael Jackson how to moonwalk

Brown isn’t letting Cooley or Daniel take the credit. In an Instagram live session with rapper Fat Joe, Brown says he taught Jackson the dance after learning it himself while on tour with New Edition.

Source: Instagram

“When we [New Edition] first started out I had just came from Alabama learning how to do the Moonwalk, the real Moonwalk, where you put the sand on the ground and do it from the sand on the ground and it was like soft shoed. And Michael asked me to show him how to Moonwalk,” Brown said, as reported by The Jasmine Brand. “He [Michael] may have perfected it, but I taught him how to do it.”

It’s possible that Jackson learned a variation of the dance from all three men. Both Cooley and Daniel allege to be part of the Soul Train dance crew that helped Jackson. Brown was also popular for his creative dancing during the time.

Michael Jackson - choreography, dance moves




Unique dance moves and tricks such as the 45-degree tilt made Michael an all-time superstar and an innovator who set new standards in the global pop scene...


From the moment he first stepped onto the scene as a solo artist, breaking away from his family band, his father's commercial brainchild, Michael Jackson began to work great magic. His vision of art went beyond anything that the public of that era could imagine: sound, performance, special effects, costumes, artistry… But, perhaps, what distinguishes Jackson from his contemporaries to this day is the choreography. Unique dance moves and tricks such as 45 degree tilt, did michael superstar for all time and an innovator who set a new level for the global pop scene. We invite you to remember the main dance moves of the King of Pop and, perhaps, reveal their secret!

moonwalkMichael Jackson

Perhaps this is the most legendary dance trick that has ever been in the arsenal of a pop idol!

For the first time, Jackson demonstrated the moonwalk March 25 1983 of the year within the show "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever"dedicated to the promotion of the best singles of the label. Then the artist performed his new song "Billie Jean.", which completely contradicted the format of the show! However - it was thanks to the moonwalk that he managed to get around the rules, hitting the organizers during the rehearsal ...

How Michael learned this move is still the subject of debate to this day. Some sources claim that the singer learned a phenomenal gait from dancing kids on the street, others - what he came up with after walking through the forest. Nevertheless, there is an official version that sounds very plausible: for the first time, an American dancer performed the moonwalk. Jeffrey Daniel, and allegedly he taught Michael this amazing trick ... But even if the gait was invented by Daniel, it was Jackson who popularized it! The student has surpassed the teacher, as they say.

captureMichael Jackson

Some call this trick "a grip that makes girls swoon". Surely you already understand what movement we are talking about! This is indeed a very recognizable element of Michael Jackson's choreography, which became his signature gesture.

The history of its origin also diverges: some argue that in this way Jackson deliberately made the girls at his concerts even more crazy and overflowing with emotions, while the artist himself said that the movement appeared quite by accident. Nevertheless, it accompanied each of his concerts, and subsequently it ceased to be an accident - after all, all the dancers did the same as Michael. And this is an indicator of long and hard rehearsals.

Tilt 45 degreesMichael Jackson and his famous 45 degree tilt

For the first time, the artist performed this masterpiece trick in the video for "Smooth Criminal.". Then fantastic slope 45 degrees impressed the audience, but many decided that these were just special effects. But they were wrong. This became apparent later when Michael demonstrated his trick on stage. After, around the dance movement, which is completely contrary to the laws of physics, a lot of controversy and questions arose . ..

However, the mystery was solved when Jackson himself told about his trick: it turns out that he developed special shoeswho helped him make 45 degree tilt against gravity. The shoes had a trihedral slot on the heels, which included a protruding from the floor metal pin - he provided additional support for the body.

So - in order to perform your signature trick Michael approached a certain section of the stage, on which the rod was located. The audience, of course, did not see this.

RotationMichael Jackson

Many are still impressed by the branded and very continuous rotation Michael, after which the singer, as if nothing had happened, landed on his toes! It's just amazing how Michael not dizzy - although most likely she was spinning, it's just that Jackson, like a true pop king, did not show it.

One more spectacular trick - when, after his brilliant spin, Michael landed on his knees! Pure passion and power... Curiously, Jackson began practicing this dance move as a child. Amazing talent and charisma, which Michael was in a hurry to share with the world at such a young age.

Toe standMichael Jackson on tiptoes

When you see this trick, it seems impossible! And very painful ... But Jackson turned the impossible into a very real reality and amazed the general public ...

It is noteworthy, but after a grand performance at "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever" Michael was dissatisfied himself - he thought he hadn't lasted long enough on his toes. But it was wonderful! He made about 6 rotations around himself, after which he landed perfectly on his toes and stayed in this position 2 seconds!

michael jackson on tiptoes

At the same time, the artist himself believed that ruined the whole show... Then he did not even suspect that he had opened a new page in the history of pop culture.

Karate techniqueMichael Jackson

One of the sharpest and most dangerous movements in the literal sense of the word Michael! His trademark "karate trick", which he deftly performed with his foot, some also call The Kick (which translates as "heel in the eye").

A curious fact is that in the 1998 founder of the United World Karate Association Chodoin Daikaku handed to the king of pop honorary fifth degree black belt for your contribution to the fight against discrimination and injustice in the world!

Michael Jackson honorary black belt in karate

Subsequently, the actor Will Smith joked that even though Michael does not have a real belt, he is able to fend for himself for real!

Quick change of legsMichael Jackson on stage

Probably, this is one of those movements that went with Michael through his whole life - as a boy Jackson performed it, although not as skillfully as at the peak of his popularity.

For example, his talent for "changing legs" can be seen in the music video for the song "Dancing Machine"when he was still a young member of the family group The Jackson 5.

By the way: Michael even then he was in perfect control of his body, deftly spinning around himself and charging the atmosphere on stage with insane energy!

Michael Jackson is the best dancer of our lives - Unsportsmanlike behavior - Blogs

Performed at the Super Bowl and came to Fulham.

In the spring of 1999, the third English division football match between Fulham and Wigan was visited by Michael Jackson. For a figure of this status, the event was not at all obvious, and when, after the game, the owner of Fulham, Mohammed Al-Fayed, invited Jackson to the locker room, the players decided that this was an imitator. Just in case, they asked him to show the moonwalk.

It is unknown if the most successful artist in the history of mankind slipped into the dressing room of a modest English stadium to confirm that he was not an impostor.

But how cool would it be if it was.


Michael Jackson spent 45 of his 50 years in show business. He recorded the highest-grossing album in the history of music (and in total, according to various estimates, sold from 200 to 750 million copies of his work), won hundreds of awards, turned MTV and Super Bowl concerts into a global phenomenon, and also anticipated more or less all pop music. music at the turn of the century and was once seriously crowned an African king. In his peak years, he collected Wembley 15 times, and when in 2009-m announced a return tour, a million tickets were swept away in two hours. At various times, Jackson has been a cartoon character, a doll and an advertising face for Pepsi, and now for almost a decade he remains the highest paid deceased celebrity. In the entire world culture of the 20th century, units are comparable to Jackson in terms of scale, recognition and influence: Chaplin, Disney, Elvis, Lennon.

In his autobiography (correctly titled "Moonwalk"), Jackson told how he worked with Diana Ross, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, and on national television joked personally for Hollywood Golden Age legend Katharine Hepburn, who motherly reprimanded him for eternal dark glasses. But in a surprising way, in the most touching moment of his (rather on-duty) memoirs, there is no namedropping, and it’s not even about music, but about dancing:

“I wanted to do a really long spin and stop on my toes for a moment,” Jackson wrote of his iconic 1983 Motown record label performance. - But I could not freeze as much as I wanted, and lowered my heel. [Later backstage] I was still upset about it, but then a little boy came up to me - about ten years old and in a tuxedo. He looked up at me with eyes full of admiration and said: “Where did you learn to dance like that?”.


“I've always been good at dancing,” said Jackson, the only musician in America's Dance Hall of Fame. The choreography is already present in Jackson's earliest performances as part of his family group the Jackson 5, the sensation of the era of bubblegum pop.

Jackson joined the Jackson 5 when he was only five, and spent his entire childhood in rehearsals and performances: first in talent shows, and then with his own concerts. He recalled being alone backstage as a child “watching all the headliners to learn as much as possible from them. I looked at their feet, at what they were doing with their hands, how they were holding the microphone, trying to understand why. I did not miss a single step, not a single movement, turn, turn, twist, emotion, half-movement. That was my education and my recreation."

Having already become a star, Jackson in many ways remained a child, full of unique androgynous innocence. In particular, he retained this awe of great artists, as if refusing to see that he himself became one of them: “I grew up on real showmen: James Brown, Sammy Davis, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly. A great artist does not leave anyone indifferent - this is an indicator of greatness. It's like Michelangelo - whoever you are, it can't help but touch."

At the same time, the professional drive and ambitions of Jackson himself have always been very powerful. The song Dancing Machine came out at 1974, when 17-year-old Michael had already grown to the role of the frontman of the Jackson 5, and he was "determined to find a dance element that would enhance the song and make the performance more interesting for both the band and the audience." Thus, by a conscious effort of the creative will of a teenager, nothing less than a robot dance was born. The movement, seen on the street, catapulted the Dancing Machine to the top of the charts, and showed Jackson the power of television. “In just a few days, it seemed like every American kid was dancing the robot. I have never seen anything like it,” he recalled at 1988th. 30 years later, the world has survived macarena, gangnam and (sort of) floss, and the robot is still the highlight of school discos, street sessions and Sex and the City.


Four years after the robot, Jackson played the Scarecrow in Visa, Sidney Lumet's fantasy based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Jackson, who always dreamed of cinema, worked on the film with its most complex choreography:

“Since childhood, it was enough for me to see a dance movement once - and I immediately knew how to perform it. Someone had to explain step by step, beat the rhythm, show where to put your foot and move your hip, and where - with your neck. But if I saw it, then I could repeat it.

But, as it should be in the film industry, this became a problem. One day during filming, Diana Ross, who played Dorothy, took Jackson (with whom she had a great relationship) aside and explained that he puts her in a bad light because he learns dance chords too quickly. Until the end of filming, 20-year-old Jackson generously pretended to be a worse dancer than he was, and the film eventually received four Oscar nominations:


-star" and became at first just a star, and then the main star of the planet: for the first time, four tracks from one disc hit the Billboard top 10 at once, more than 20 million copies of the album were sold worldwide, Jackson won his first (out of 13) Grammy and received the highest percentage of sales in the industry from its label Epic - 37 (almost $ 2 from each record sold in the US).

He himself, however, felt that Off The Wall deserved more, so he began recording the next album with a thirst for revenge. Thus was born Thriller (1982), the most successful release of all time, making Michael Jackson a legend. Of the nine songs on the album, seven were released as singles, all of them in the national top 10, and a year after the release, Thriller was still selling over a million copies a week.

In 1984, Time declared the 25-year-old Jackson "the sole savior of the music industry: a decade-defining songwriter, a dancer with the craziest legs, and a singer who transcends tastes, styles, and colors."

By then, Jackson had already performed at the 25th anniversary of his former label Motown with the "thriller" track Billie Jean (which was almost named Not My Lover to avoid being associated with tennis player Billie Jean King). And if the Thriller album turned from a hit into a blockbuster thanks to the Beat It single, then it was Billie Jean and the performance at Motown 25 that turned Michael Jackson from a classy dancer into a visionary. scene. Back at 1972, while touring with the Jackson 5, he wanted to run backstage to get the hat he wore for the cover of the album before performing the hit Got to Be There. “They didn’t let me do it then, because I was small, and the adults thought the idea was stupid. But soon Donny Osmond was performing all over the country wearing a very similar hat, and people were ecstatic. Even then I trusted my instincts. I believed that I knew how to do it."

More than a decade later, preparing for Motown 25, the first thing Jackson ordered was a hat: "a cool spy-type fedora, like a secret agent." Until the last evening before the performance, however, a hat and a black jacket he accidentally found were his only plan.

“Then I went down to the kitchen and turned on Billie Jean. Loudly. I was there alone, the night before the show, just standing there and waiting for the song to tell me what to do. I let the dance create itself, let it talk to me. When I heard the first bar, I put on that spy hat, struck a pose, and followed Billie Jean's rhythm, letting him dictate the moves. And this moment, when I faded into the background, skipping ahead of the dance, was amazing, ”said Jackson at the end of the decade.

On that day in Pasadena, Michael Jackson's moonwalk saw the light of day for the first time - perhaps the single artist's signature move in the history of popular culture. “I didn’t invent the moonwalk,” Jackson never hid, “but I perfected it. It was a dance piece from the ghetto and was taught to me by three black guys. They showed me the basics, and then I practiced alone for a long time and combined it with other steps. All I knew for sure was that in losing to Billie Jean, I would go forward and backward at the same time, as if I were on the moon.

There is another version of the origin of the moonwalk. Choreographer Jeffrey Daniel, who worked with Jackson on later videos for Bad and Smooth Criminal, said that she appeared after Jackson and "little Janet" saw him dancing at Disneyland in the early 80s.

“They watched me dance from backstage. And then he called me and said he wanted to meet and work on the movements. ” According to Daniel, Jackson didn't even manage to do the moonwalk right away ("It's like the Matrix - everyone fails the first attempt"), but "then seeing him do it on stage and launch it into the stratosphere was something."


It is important to understand that in the early 80s Jackson's creative authority was already so high that he invited choreographers to cooperate so that they would broadcast his ideas, and not supply them with their own. “MJ gave them instructions on what type of movement they would like, so the choreographer would already put it into concrete form. Then he came in, looked at the material and adapted it for himself, ”says Steve Knopper, editor of Rolling Stone and author of The Genius of Michael Jackson.

The cult videos Thriller (the world's premier music video: a 14-minute, half-million-dollar horror movie that hit theaters and inspired the annual pre-Halloween dance festival) and Beat It (a gangland story that references West Side Story compositionally) were directed by Michael Jackson Peters. He said that the secret of Jackson's bombastic choreography is his brilliant knowledge of both the history of dance and its present. This allowed Michael to combine elements of break dancing with borrowings from Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.

By the way, with Astaire, the maestro of musical comedy of the first half of the 20th century and the first person of the IMDb database, Jackson has an episode that allowed him to truly feel like a dancer for the first time.

“Fred Astaire called me the day after Motown 25. He said, verbatim, “You move like the devil, boy. You put them all in a puddle yesterday.” I wrote it down yesterday and rewatched it this morning. You're just the devil." [When Gene Kelly said the same thing to me] I felt like I was introduced into an informal fraternity of dancers, and it was a huge honor, because these are the people I admire most in the world.


In addition to rope feet, spins, toe-stands and monster dancing, until the late 80's Jackson's big dance inventions were the groin grabs and the anti-grav tilt from the Smooth Criminal video. About the first in 1993, Oprah Winfrey asked him bluntly in a long interview: “Why are you always grabbing your groin? Do you have some problem?" Jackson, with a childish laugh, explained that he just listens to the music and does what it says: “It happens unconsciously. Dancers, they just interpret music and accompaniment. If there are basses, you yourself become a bass. If the strings - you become a string and the emotion that it expresses. So if I'm dancing and I'm like, bam, grab myself, I'm doing it because the music says so. I don’t think: so, but is it necessary to do this, otherwise the place is not the most successful. This happens by itself. Sometimes I look back at the records and think: did I really do this?

The week before the interview with Oprah, Jackson did a half-time show at the Super Bowl: now the dream of any artist in the world, but then the halftime of the most important sporting event in the United States, to which viewers left and did not always return. It so happened that at that moment not only Michael was needed by the Super Bowl, but also vice versa: Jackson remained a megastar and collected stadiums with the Dangerous tour, but the very music that he played: light, danceable, naive - already sounded a little outdated and receded under pressure grunge, alternative and hip-hop.

And Jackson delivered. In his autobiography, he wrote that he always gave the best work under pressure, and this was just such a case. For 12 minutes at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, he showed a mashup of hits, and then, with the participation of the stands and 3,500 children who filled the field, he sang the humanitarian anthem Heal the World. As a result, TV ratings for the match rose during the break and remained high until the end, the Super Bowl break became one of the top shows on Earth, and Jackson regained the title of King of Pop and, in a sense, even anticipated YouTube.

Smooth Criminal is not so romantic. The 45-degree slope from there looks as luxurious as it is implausible - even for Michael Jackson.

The video used threads and wires for support, and for live performances, Jackson patented a special shoe with ankle support, which was attached to the stage surface by a mechanism in the heel and allowed the dancer to shift the center of gravity from the feet, but remain on them. Sometimes, however, it failed - as, for example, in Moscow at 1996th (Jackson's second and last visit to Russia with a campaign for antiques and a meeting with Yuri Luzhkov).

The 90s were not the most glorious period in Jackson's life. He married, got divorced, defended himself against accusations of pedophilia (he was not convicted, but the residue remained), waved a child from the balcony and turned suspiciously white (an autopsy confirmed that he really had vitiligo, not racism). So over the years, he went from an eccentric celebrity living at home with a boa constrictor, a llama and a chimpanzee, into a grotesque celebrity who walks in a mask, avoids any contact with the media, and is experiencing financial difficulties. Plus, he built a ranch that evoked the sinister Xanadu castle from Citizen Kane, even though it was for kids.

Jackson's star power from all the PR failures, however, did not suffer much, and when he went on a farewell tour in 2009, due to frenzied demand, the number of gigs on the London O2 was increased five times: from ten to an unimaginable 50. From this megalomaniac project, only one documentary about the rehearsals of This Is It came out, but its effect is even stronger because nothing came true.

The film begins with the selection of dancers for a concert troupe, and almost every member is crying when he tries to explain what it means to him to dance next to Michael Jackson.

“Life is hard, isn't it? says a boy in a leather jacket over his naked body in a trembling voice. “And I kept looking for something that would give me meaning and hope and faith in something. I found Michael."


It is generally accepted that great work is behind great success - this is prestigious, pedagogical and almost always true. But behind the biggest is always something else (luck? cunning? magic?).

Perhaps that is why when you meet a person who has found his business, then you remember him for a long time. It could be Jamie Oliver explaining that a good omelette doesn't need milk, or Alexander McQueen with his holographic Kate Moss, Leo DiCaprio with his Russian accent, or Cord yelling about "####### simple and simple ### ####".

And very rarely it can be someone like Michael Jackson - a born showman who, when asked about his destiny, answered: “It is a great honor for me to be the chosen one who gives the world music, love, harmony. The meaning of my life is to give everything I can with my songs, dances, music.” Jackson is most often called not a musician or even an artist, but a hard-to-translate word entertainer - an entertainer. And it's so true about him - a man who appeared to walk back and forth at the same time, as if he were on the moon, while everyone else thinks: like him, there are only once in a hundred years or just once.

Photo: REUTERS/Roy Beardsworth/Action Images; Photo Bank;; Funk/ZUMA Press

Michael Jackson Choreographer Stacey Walker

– Stacey, the idea of ​​doing a Mackle Jackson show without Michael Jackson is pretty risky. Are you afraid of criticism?

- I'm not afraid. Because I know what my intentions are. And I am responsible for everything that happens in the show, I have to make sure that everything is correct, authentic, with respect to Michael. Deciding to show this to the general public was not easy. But the family, agents - all pushed me to a positive decision. And I am very grateful to all these people for their help. Work has become a kind of therapy for me. Helped me through a very sad time.

– Apart from dancing, what will be in the concert? Music - a phonogram?

- No, there will be a combination of everything: recordings and live performance. We have a live band and vocalists.

- Have you seen the movie "That's it"?

- Of course. I starred in it (laughs). I watched it twice - in September, before the premiere. The painting was still in the editing process. I was surprised how they even managed to make a film from rehearsal recordings. Because we recorded the rehearsals not to show them to someone later, but for our work. For "debriefing", self-criticism. In general, it was amazing and pleasant to look at it. The second time I liked it no less, but it was, of course, sad, because no one will ever see this performance again. We didn’t have time to play . ..

– Were you with Jackson in Moscow in 1996?

– No, I have never been to Russia at all. I worked with Michael on the History world tour. So I really want to get to your country!

- What are your memories of the History tour?

– It was great! I danced on stage with Michael, I felt his energy. He's electric! And I was also struck by the huge number of screaming fans everywhere. I'm sure Jackson has the best fans in the world (laughs).

- I saw them too - the crowd outside the National Hotel. Impressive.

- That's why I'm so excited about our King of Pop: Michael's fans know all his work, they understand it perfectly. They cannot be deceived. But they will appreciate authentic moments from Michael's past.

- Stacey, you've choreographed so many pop artists that I don't even know which one to ask you about. Just tell me, what is the craziest tour of your career?

– Everyone is crazy! (Laughs) Seriously, I've been fortunate to work with many very different artists, celebrities. And I have learned something from everyone. But working with Michael Jackson is something very special. I have learned a lot. Gained great experience. Even the choreography.

- How would you describe Michael Jackson as a dancer?

- Incredible, the only one, unlike anyone - well, these are all obvious epithets, you understand. He created his own style - this was his main genius. He, roughly speaking, connected the unconnected. He was very fond of watching old films - with Fred Astaire, Jim Kelly, Bob Foss - they inspired him a lot. And he somehow managed to combine that old choreography with modern trends, breakdance, for example. How he came up with this idea - I don’t know, but this is how a unique style developed. Which, by the way, has influenced many of today's artists, such as Usher and Justin Timberlake, for example.

– What was so special about Michael Jackson's body and muscles, why he could jump, dance at breakneck speed, “slide” across the floor?

– God, I don't know. Mystery! One thing I can say: he was not afraid of work. One movement could rehearse for weeks. He did not go on stage until everything was perfect in the show: himself, dancers, musicians, vocalists ... Everything, in general.

– Perfectionist?

Exactly. He demanded the same from the team, he hired only the best. It was, frankly, very comfortable to work in such conditions. He always knew exactly what he wanted, what was needed for this and how best to do it. I liked that I was given clear tasks. In general, he is a professional, what can I say.

- A lot has been written about the personality of Michael Jackson, and polar ones at that: egoist, altruist, unsociable, withdrawn, infantile, too smart, and the like. What is real?

- Well, I can't talk about the personality of Michael Jackson. I can only talk about what I myself felt while working with him. He seemed very kind to me. He greatly appreciated the talent in people. Dancers and vocalists felt great with him, he inspired them. By the way, we had a huge team, but after each rehearsal, Michael thanked everyone personally.

- Maybe a strange question for you, but still: why is dance so much attention in modern pop music? Back in the 1970s, it was impossible to imagine an artist surrounded on stage by a dancing crowd. It started in the 1980s...

- The question is not strange. You are absolutely right: it all started in the 1980s, and again, the “fault” is Michael Jackson. By and large, we American dancers owe our careers to him. Not literally, of course: he couldn't hire us all. But it was from him that the fashion for large dance groups went.

– So the dance trend started by Jackson created new jobs?

- Yes. Jackson put dancing on a commercial footing. Before him, where could a dancer work? In musical theatre. On Broadway, if you're lucky. There was nowhere else in particular. And in the 1980s, clips, concerts, movies, TV programs, tours around the world appeared .

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