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Home > Dance History

Michael Jackson: A Dance Legend

On Friday, June 26th, 2009 we lost the great song and dance legend Michael Jackson. The world will forever be united by his image and his ingenious dances. Many of us grew up to the sounds, images and movement that Michael brought into our living rooms. He had a star quality that really put him in a league of his own. Throughout the years we saw him turn and dance his way into our hearts with original movement and style.

We saw him embody rhythm as a young child in the Jackson 5. He had such depth of rhythm and syncopation. Michael was the main interest; he shined so brightly that it was inevitable he would become a solo act.

The world watched him transition into a solo star. His phenomenal dance technique developed into something unimaginable as he came into his prime. We saw his seamless, gliding slides, hip thrusts and pencil turns in Billie Jean and Beat It. This led to the move that made him a dance legend: the moonwalk. We all watched in awe while he performed his famous first performance of The Moonwalk at the Motown 25th Anniversary. Though there were claims that Michael was not the inventor, he is still widely known for perfecting that move and making it his own. It is what catapulted him into superstardom and it will always be remembered throughout dance and music history.

Michael also gained worldwide attention with his dancing in the original short movie/dance music video Thriller. The choreographer Norman Winter was delighted with what Michael did with his work. That dance will be remembered forever. It was re-enacted several times over the years in movies, on the stage and on dance squads.

Michael later came out with the incredibly famous Smooth Criminal which featured extreme leans along with his trademark foot slides and pencil turns. And who can forget his signature knee shake move? Many other dance videos surfaced throughout his career that highlighted his dancing abilities such as: Scream, Dirty Diana, Black or White, Bad, The Way You Make Me Feel and many others.

Michael Jackson was certainly one of most well known dancers on the music scene; he was among the performance elite. He mesmerized audiences since he hit the stage with the Jackson 5, and will continue to inspire dancers all over the world with his dynamic dance interpretations.

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