How to do michael jackson dance moves

Michael Jackson’s Impossible Dance Move, Explained | UNRESERVED

Michael Jackson’s musical achievements are legend: the first artist to win eight Grammys in one night; the first artist to sell more than a million digital tracks in one week.

His impact on dance has been just as powerful. Fans around the world have tried to imitate his smooth slides and spins, his racy crotch grab and pelvic thrust and, of course, his trademark moonwalk, with varying degrees of success.

But there’s one move that stunned the watching world: the gravity-defying tilt he debuted in his 1988 music video for Smooth Criminal. In one scene, Jackson and a few of his dancers lean forward 45 degrees, backs straight, feet flat upon the floor, and hold the pose until they return upright with little apparent effort.

“It’s not really possible physically to do it,” said neurosurgeon Dr. Nishant Yagnick, a longtime Jackson fan who practices at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India. “He was cheating gravity.”

“You can bend a maximum of 25 or 30 degrees forward before you fall on your face,” added his colleague Dr. Manjul Tripathi, another fan. “I tried to do it, and I fell.”

Fascinated by Jackson and his seemingly inhuman abilities, Yagnick and Tripathi began to investigate just how the pop legend was able to accomplish his feat. Along with another colleague, Dr. Sandeep Mohindra, they published their observations from a neurosurgeon’s point of view on Tuesday in the Journal of Neurosurgery: “How did Michael Jackson challenge our understanding of spine biomechanics?”

On the left, how the body is supposed to bend; on the right, how Michael Jackson did it. Photo: Journal of Neurosurgery

When the human body bends forward with the back straight, the doctors explain, the erector spinae muscles that run parallel to our vertebrae “act like cables” and support the body as the centre of gravity shifts. But when the focus of bending is switched to the ankles, those erector muscles aren’t the major support. Instead, the strain is put on the calf and Achilles tendon, which aren’t really built for that role.

“This allows for a very limited degree of forward bending from the ankle joints, while keeping a stiff straight posture – unless you are Michael Jackson,” they explain in the study. “Most trained dancers with strong core strength will reach a maximum of 25 or 30 degrees of forward bending while performing this action.”

Though Jackson was in marvelous shape, even he couldn’t do the maneuver without help. So he and his team invented a special shoe that would anchor him to the floor during the tilt.

Michael Jackson’s patented shoe. Photo: United States Patent

Patented on October 26, 1993, the shoes “have a specially designed heel slot which can be detachably engaged” with a “hitch” (such as a nail) projected through the stage surface “by simply sliding the shoe wearer’s foot forward, thereby engaging with the hitch member,” according to the US Patent Office description.

“Very inventive idea of him,” Tripathi said with a laugh, “because even with that shoe, I am not able to do 45 degrees. You need a very good core of strength, and that strength was in Michael Jackson and his Achilles tendon.”

Yagnick agreed: “Normal people, even with the shoe, probably can’t do it. It takes a lot of practice to develop the core muscles, abs and central trunk muscles to get the strength to do it.”

Not only would most people need intensive training to accomplish the move, said Atlanta physiatrist Dr. Jose Garcia-Corrada, but they could seriously injure themselves if they fell. Garcia specialises in the medical rehabilitation of the spine at Emory School of Medicine.

“If you were to lose your core balance during the lean and didn’t catch the fall with your arms, you could hit your jaw,” Garcia-Corrada said. “That might hyperextend the neck and cause serious spine damage.”

It’s not just the spine that might be affected, he added.

“You’re holding most of your weight with muscles that you normally wouldn’t use in this way,” he said. “You could really strain your back and legs muscles and tendons.”

Many audiences who watched Jackson and his dancers perform the feat on video and in concerts had no knowledge of the trick. To them, Yagnick said, it seemed like magic.

“When Michael Jackson brought out the video and then did it live on stages around the world, people didn’t know he had this shoe system,” he said. “Particularly in India, where Michael Jackson is very popular, many people tried to copy him, and some even hurt themselves.”

“MJ style,” as it is called in India, is so popular that one of the top dance groups is called “MJ5” because they imitate Jackson, while children emulate the moves in competitions like Dance, India, Dance.

Tripathi believes that Jackson’s legacy has “pushed whole generations of dancers to go beyond their limits,” which he says is putting new kinds of stresses on the spine. “So in India, neurosurgeons are perplexed due to all these new kinds of neuroskeletal injuries we are now seeing.

How Michael Jackson’s patented shoe allowed him to perform the lean. Photo: Journal of Neurosurgery

Studies on the newer forms of dance inspired by Jackson back up the doctors’ observations. A 2012 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports followed three types of hip-hop dancers: popper/lockers, breakers and “new schoolers.”

Popping and locking are foreshadowed in many of Michael Jackson’s routines. Locking requires freezing from a fast movement and “locking” into that position for a short time before suddenly moving again. Popping involves quickly contracting and relaxing muscles to produce a jerking motion or “pop” in the body.

Breakers or “B-boys” practice a highly acrobatic type of dance that involves tumbling, spinning headstands and lifts in which the entire body is supported by one arm. “New schoolers” borrow inspiration from many styles of dance and fit them to the music.

There were 738 injuries among the 232 dancers in the study; breakers had the highest number of injuries. The study’s conclusion: Hip-hop dancers “should be educated concerning injury prevention, biomechanics, and use of protective equipment.”

A 2009 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found 1,665 injuries among 40 breakdance professionals and 104 amateurs, mostly in the wrist, spine, shoulder and ankle. Breakdancing, said the authors, “must be considered as a potentially high-risk dancing sport,” especially since dancers didn’t often take enough time to heal before jumping back into training.

That is a significant problem in India as well, Yagnick said, particularly among young people who see dancing as a pathway to a profession.

“We are seeing a lot of complex dance moves that they just copy but don’t really learn from a professional,” Yagnick said. “They are young, 18 or younger, and they want to get ahead, and they are pushing themselves. They don’t know what they are dealing with. There should be education on the right and wrong way to do things.”

Source: Sandee LaMotte/CNN-Wire

Related: Listen: Prince’s Original ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’

Tags: MUSIC, DANCE, singer, pop, michael jackson, tilt, shoe, neurosurgeon, dancers, moonwalk, lean, mj, patented shoe, special shoe

My Top 10 Favorite Michael Jackson Dance Moves - Michael Jackson

The moonwalk

1. The Moonwalk~ What move is as legendary or as remembered as the moonwalk? The moonwalk is one of the most famous moves in all history. I don't really know where Michael learned it from, I mean there are so many storries I've heard about it. Like he learned it from the guy who first did it and then Michael just perfected it. Then I heard the Michael learned it from children and streat dancers. Idk if it's a mix of all of those. There are many storries where there are two different storries that could both be true. Like the story behind the song Speechless. People say that Michael wrote it after a water balloon fight, and others say he wrote it after taking a walk in the forest, both could be true, like having a water fight in the forest. But I really don't care where it came from or who did it before Michael, all I know is that it makes my jaw drop whenever I see it. I can do the moonwalk, but it took me 9 months to make it look just a little bit like what Michael did. Has anyone seen JB moonwalk? He can't do it. lol.

The grab that makes girls faint

2.Crotch Grab~ Well I really love the one he dose at the beginning of preforming Billie Jean, it goes perfectly with the beat. And the story of why he dose it is another one where both could be right. People say that he did it because girls went crazy when he did it (well of course), but Michael said that he did it accidentally (I don't believe that, lol), but others say that is was planed choreography. Now I can believe all of them. I bet that Michael did it sometimes knowing that it made the girls happy, and then sometimes the music just made him go crazy and made him do it without even knowing he was doing it. But is some performances you can tell that it was planed, because all the dancers were doing it, or he dose it at the same time in the same song every time he dose it, like Billie Jean. (I don't do this move, unless I'm playing Michael Jackson the Experience on Wii.)

Spinin spinin all day long

3. The Spin~ I still don't know how Michael dose those long spins and then manages to land on his toes!!!! But I love when he spins then falls to his knees, pure passion and power. Those short little spins are amazing too, (now those I can actually do). It is kind of funny how people started to notice his spin and kick in the Thriller era and not earlier. He was doing that spin since he was a little kid. I noticed that recently, because I have been watching more J5 stuff because I really haven't before. I've paid more attention to Michael's solo years more then those years he spent with his brothers. But now I'm listening to J5 music and watching Michael dance when he was little, and I really think that it was amazing what he could do at such a young age.

Oh yeah! Go for the toes!

4.The Toe Stand~ He doesn't just stand on his toes, he moves into this sort of S looking position and his legs and feet are curved in a way that makes it look imposable to do. Idk how to explain it better then that. The toe stand looks like it would really hurt that's why I haven't really ever tried to do it. I don't know why Michael got so mad at himself when he "didn't stay long enough" on his toes in his first performance of Billie Jean at Motown 25. I don't know anyone who moonwalk, spin at least 6 times around then land perfectly on his toes and stay there for more then three seconds. Michael was a professional, and he thought he screwed up the whole show. He didn't know that he just made history. He thought he did a horrible job until that one little boy gave him that one little complement.


5.The Feet Shuffle~ I know that sounds weird but idk what else to call it! It's basically all those cool moves that Michael dose with his feet in the cat dance. It's just one of those many moves which I have no clue how he dose it, normal. And the feet shuffle is also the move that Michael dose in the dangerous performance where he shuffles his feet. It is just such a cool and interesting move!

chuga chuga choooo chooo!

6. The Train~ I wish I knew the names of these moves!! But that's what it looks like to me. This is the move that Michael dose in the short film Bad where Michael and all the other dancers are scooting across the floor like a train (as soon as I wrote the word, Bad , the song Bad came on on my computer! haha!) And Michael also dose it in Another Part of me performance. Awesome move! I can sort of do it..... for like 8 steps. All of Michael's moves, even the most simple ones are like almost imposable to do right. Michael is the king.

hop hop kick!

7.The Hop hop kick~ Oh my gosh I'm starting to sound like one of those trainers on MJ the Experience! That's what they said about this move. "You just have to hop hop then kick! Hop hop kick!" So I just call it hop hop kick. You guys are probably laughing at what I call some of these moves. I don't blame you. I just don't know what they are called!!! Until I find out I will continue to call them these names. At least I know the names of some of the moves, like "the crotch grab". If I didn't know the name I probably would have called it, " The grab he dose that makes girls faint". Anyway, this move Michael dose in TDCAU (too lazy to type it all out). Now you know what I'm talking about. When I try to hop hop kick my sister starts to laugh her head off. So I stopped trying. Hope you enjoyed my rambling!

karate kid!!! lol

8.The Kick~ No wonder Michael had a black belt in karate! I so wouldn't want to be in a fight with Michael! I'd be dead with one kick! I try to imagine Michael practicing karate, and I stat to laugh at what I imagine. Michael was so healthy and fit. It made me laugh when I read that Michael once challenged a doctor who thought that he wasn't fit, to a race, Michael won of course. Michael was such a fast runner! He was a real speed demon!

Throw it back!

9. The jacket throw back~ Oooooo love this move. So simple yet beautiful. I do this move whenever I wear a jacket, it's very fun to do. Whenever Michael pushes his Jacket back it makes me want to hit replay. Those simple little moves Michael did are some of my favorites. (I count all little moves like, finger pointing and punches, and throw backs in this section.)

Dancing machine

10.The robot~ Oh my goodness! I forgot to put this on higher! Haha. I just want to say that Michael is probably the best robot dancer that I have ever seen. I can't do those moves. I love the song Dancing Machine because of Michael's robot dance! I really dose look like a robot when he dose it. (Great, now I have that song stuck in my head! > <)

How to learn to dance like Michael Jackson?

Posted on by HRTrain


  1. How to learn
  2. movements
  3. Michael Jackson moonwalk
  4. Pop Idol Dancing Secrets
  5. Video tutorials

Milk Jackson is considered one of the best choreographers and dancers in history. His skill was the best of the best among those who were in the pop industry. He always did it easily, and so far he remains the most outstanding artist (of course, not in the literal sense of the word). You can enjoy his staging and movements in various videos. Michael is such a great dancer that the dance looks very organic and simple, as if you can immediately get up and repeat everything without difficulty! But, this is the great talent of Michael Jackson as an artist - to do the complex at ease and easily! How to learn to dance like him? What is the secret of movement? Naturally, the singer's hallmark is the well-known "moonwalk". This movement is a special technique where the dancer moves backward while trying to move forward. This is how the illusion of sliding is created.

How to learn the moves

It takes curly hair and shiny socks to learn the sliding moonwalk. They say it's the key to success! And here are the phased technical movements:

  1. On a full foot, put one foot forward;
  2. Take the second back and put it on your fingers;
  3. With the foot that is in front, begin to slide lightly and gently back past the foot that is behind;
  4. Now, with the foot that was in front, put on the whole foot, and lift the back one on the toes;
  5. Repeat these movements again and again. All kinds of variations of the movements of the moonwalk, allow you to slide to the right, left, forward, as well as in a circle. Now you know how easy it is to learn this intricate movement.

Michael Jackson's moonwalk

The artist first showed the moonwalk way back in 1983 on an American live TV show while performing the song "Billie Jean". Young Michael, dressed in a hat, one glove, black jacket, silver T-shirt, silver socks and black pants, made a splash. He wrapped himself around himself and did this world-famous gait.

The dancing of the star attracted a huge number of spectators, and the movement itself called the moonwalk became very popular. Dancing is considered the second nature of the famous singer. The first is, of course, music, which occupied most of his life.

It is interesting that in 1989 they made a film where Michael played the main role, he portrayed himself. This movie is called "Moonwalker". The singer considered dancing such an important part of the image that even the biopic was called "Moonwalk", which translates as "Moonwalk".

Secrets of dancing pop idol

In addition to the moonwalk, dancers all over the world love to repeat another trick of the star. This is body tilt 45 degrees to the floor . You can see it in the video for the song "Smooth Criminal". There are a large number of variations and versions on the theme: how to perform this trick. Some argue that in the stage costumes of Michael himself and his dancers, special pins were installed, in the shape and size of the heel, which at some point advanced and fixed. The dancer himself patented this boot design.

How to learn to dance like Michael Jackson? Is it realistic to do it? Naturally, yes! A huge number of people are proof of this. The video tutorials below will help you. Carefully study the technique, turn on the music louder, and go ahead.

Video lessons


  • Training


  • How to learn
  • How to learn how to dance

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Michael Jackson Online edition " The element of dance"

He was deified, he was attributed an alien origin, he was loved endlessly and just as endlessly hated. At 19In 97, he was recognized as the most famous person in the world. Michael Jackson is a name associated with incredible fame and dirty scandals, an artist who created modern pop culture, becoming its king, its golden idol. With bated breath, the world watched his moonwalk. He went out on a huge stage, and his fragile figure suddenly captured the entire surrounding space. Defying gravity, incredibly plastic, dancing even in stillness, Michael Jackson said that he felt the touch of something sacred while dancing. Perhaps this sacred was also accessible to the audience, because, looking at it, it was hard to believe that a person, the same as everyone else, from the same flesh and blood, is capable of such a thing. Music, his voice and image complemented such a vivid impression, he seemed great and immortal. And later, in 2009year, when his body refused to fight another dose of propofol, it was as if an entire era had ended: the king had died, his subjects were mourning, they simply did not believe in another king.
They say that already at the age of seven, Michael Jackson was choreographing in The Jackson Five, and in 1969, when the boy was eleven, fame came, and the group's debut song was at the top of the American charts. Being stars is not easy, and the five Jackson brothers fully appreciated this fact: the father of the family created not just a children's group, popular among their peers, but a serious and profitable music and dance project with far-reaching plans. Consequently, the children had to work, and those who failed to show a decent result were flogged. Early 90's, Michael talked a lot about how his father beat him and his brothers, and Joseph Jackson himself did not hide this. Be that as it may, success came and entrenched for many years, although his father's upbringing left a certain imprint on the fate of the artist. Michael Jackson, like his favorite character Peter Pan, never became an adult - perhaps out of a sense of some kind of internal protest, because he was unfairly deprived of his childhood.
A man without age and gender, but armed with talent and hard work, Michael Jackson once began a solo career. His name was already well known in certain circles, but the general public found out about him in the early 80s, when Thriller was born, an album that broke every imaginable and unimaginable record in popularity and became the best-selling record in history. And at 19In 1983, the artist demonstrated his trademark "moonwalk", the elements of which he had previously tested in his performances.
Dancing skills were always easy for him: he memorized movements almost instantly, reproducing them with incredible accuracy. Saying that consciousness expresses itself through creativity, Jackson called creativity precisely the dance that allows him to open up, liberate himself, remove the shackles of natural shyness. At the same time, he gave the dance the same thing, popularizing complex techniques, conveying to the general public the beauty and perfection of dance movements.

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