How to Moonwalk Like Michael Jackson

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The moonwalk is a dance step that is almost synonymous with the name Michael Jackson. While the move was made famous by Jackson, it was recorded as early as 1955 and was referred to by several other names including “backsliding” and “walking on your toes”. It is nearly impossible to think of him and not think of his classic and iconic dance move. The move is an optical illusion. It’s a smooth walking/stepping type motion that creates the illusion of walking forward when the dancer is actually moving backwards. Jackson made the step look effortless, but for the rest of us it requires just a little bit of effort, a smooth floor, non-friction shoes and persistence.

The footwear is key to mastering the step. You will want to wear something with smooth flat soles. The floor surface is equally important. Hardwood, linoleum or tile works best. Smooth surface on smooth surface will make the step easier to master. The less friction involved the better.

Place your right foot behind your left foot, then raise your right foot to toe, in an “L” position. Next slide your left foot back to finish at your right foot, slowly moving upward onto its toes. While moving your left foot onto the toes, your right foot simultaneously moves down to be flat. Repeat the process on each foot. The leg that is moving backwards bends at the kneecap slightly forward to create an illusion of walking forward while actually moving backwards. They key is to get your feet moving simultaneously in a fluid motion.


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