Who Is Michael Jackson?
Michael Jackson is an artist so famous, he almost needs no introduction. Jackson first rose to prominence as part of the Jackson 5, a pop group comprised of him and his brothers. As he got older, he pursued a solo career, eventually becoming one of the most commercially-successful and critically-acclaimed artists of all time.
Jackson’s music broke records and inspired countless people. His songs such as “Thriller”, “Black or White”, “Beat It”, “Rock with You”, and “The Way You Make Me Feel” are still played and loved decades after they came out. The music video for “Thriller” is also the only MV ever preserved by the National Film Registry.
When a documentary accusing Jackson of child sexual abuse was released, it caused major international backlash. This was not the first time Jackson was accused of such a crime; in fact, a similar charge was brought against him in the ‘90s, although he was never charged.
Michael Jackson’s Most Famous Dance Moves
Before we go into his ‘defying gravity’ trick, let’s take a look at some of the other dance techniques Michael Jackson helped to popularise.
First off, there’s the ‘crotch grab’. Jackson liked to use a lot of sexually-charged choreography, but none is more sexual than his crotch grab-and-bump.
Then, there’s the toe stand. Reminiscent of how ballerinas stand en pointe, Jackson adds a bit of an edgy and modern twist to the classic dance move.
MJ was also a huge fan of spinning. He’d do multiple fast ‘turns’ in just one spin to show off his fast feet.
Remember ‘The Robot’? Michael Jackson didn’t create that dance move, but he certainly was one of the best at it.
Finally, how can we talk about Michael Jackson’s dance moves without mentioning ‘The Moonwalk’? Again, he was only taught this dance move by dancer and choreographer Jeffrey Daniel, but it became Jackson’s signature move.
The ‘Magical’ Michael Jackson Lean: How Did He Do It?
For his “Smooth Criminal” music video, Michael Jackson debuted his new dance move – defying gravity by leaning forward and impossible 45 degrees. Most people assumed he achieved this through camera tricks and wires, which is why audiences were shocked when Jackson successfully showed off the same move during a live performance.
So, what’s the secret? Did Michael crack some kind of code that defies the laws of physics? Or does he just have insanely strong core muscles (and Achilles tendons)?
While it does take a lot of practice and strength to pull off the move, the REAL secret is that you need a lot more than skill. In fact, Michael Jackson used ‘anti-gravity shoes’ that were specifically designed to recreate it on stage.
Created in collaboration with MJ’s costume designer Dennis Tompkins, Michael Jackson’s ‘lean shoes’ had slots in the heels, which would then connect to a protruding ‘peg’ on the stage. Once the ‘leaning shoes’ were in place, bending forward 45 degrees goes from impossible to merely difficult.
The design was patented by the two in 1992. But in 1996, an incident where the heel came loose nearly injured the pop star. It was reworked to be safer for future performances. Michael Jackson’s shoes went on sale for $USD 600,000 and are now displayed at the Hard Rock Cafe in Moscow.
Magic Moves From The Smooth Criminal
While some people may be disappointed that the secret of Michael Jackson’s iconic dance move lies in his shoes, that doesn’t mean that the “Smooth Criminal” singer was any less talented. To this day, he remains one of the best artists and performers of all time – and nobody since has even come close to taking his title of ‘King of Pop’.
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