Mastering the Dance Floor: A Detailed Study on Michael Jackson’s Revolutionary Dance Moves


When you think of transformational aspects in the world of dance, the first name that probably comes to mind is Michael Jackson. Known for his iconic moonwalk and other revolutionary dance moves, Michael Jackson’s dance style is eternally marked in the world of music and dance. This comprehensive guide will dissect the best of Jackson’s dance moves, offering detailed information on execution.

The Iconic Moonwalk

One cannot talk about Michael Jackson without mentioning the legendary Moonwalk, first introduced during his performance of "Billie Jean" at the Motown 25th anniversary celebration in 1983. This dance step gives an undoable illusion of moving forward while actually gliding backward. To start, put your right foot back and apply weight to the ball of your foot while keeping your left foot flat on the ground. Switch your weight between your feet like a pendulum, and every time you switch, slide your flat foot back with gentle force, making it look as if you’re striding forward but moving backward.

Sidebar Dance

The Sidebar Dance move is another classic Michael Jackson dance step that requires a moderate degree of bodily coordination. In this move, the dancer moves side to side along a straight line, continuing this move in a smooth and rhythmic succession, infusing a popping dance style with each step. This move is perfect for those who like to experiment with traditional dance styles.

The Gravity-Defying Lean

The Gravity-Defying Lean showcased in the ‘Smooth Criminal’ music video, almost makes it seem as if Michael Jackson had supernatural abilities. To recreate this move without any ’special equipment’, start by spreading your legs shoulder-width apart and lean forward, reaching out with your right hand as if trying to grab something. Counterbalance your lean with your other hand stretched widely at the side.

The Toe Stand

The Toe Stand is another signature Michael Jackson move that displays deftness and balance. Jackson executes this move by standing on the tips of his toes, balancing for a few seconds before descending slowly. This move seems very simple but requires a great degree of balance and strength.

The Spin

The Spin move is another Michael Jackson classic. Start without moving your feet from the ground, and while your right foot maintains contact with the ground, your left foot should perform a quick round. The momentum from the spin should make you turn around quickly.


These iconic moves transformed the landscape of pop music’s choreography and carved for Michael Jackson, an immortal place in the annals of dance history. Each dance move is testament to Jackson’s creativity and dedication to his craft. Emulating these dance styles can help develop a sense of rhythm, balance and coordination. But remember, it’s not just about mimicking the steps; it’s also about capturing the essence of Michael Jackson – his joy and passion for dance that’s truly infectious.

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