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Encyclopedia > Moonwalk (dance)
A street dancer doing the moonwalk in Madrid.
A street dancer doing the moonwalk in Madrid.

The moonwalk or backslide is a dance move that gained widespread popularity after being performed by Michael Jackson on the 1983 television special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, and has since become his signature move. The purpose of the moonwalk is to give the illusion that the dancer appears to walk forward while actually moving backward. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... For other uses, see Dance (disambiguation). ... Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958), commonly known as MJ as well as the King of Pop, is an American musician, entertainer, and pop icon whose successful career and controversial personal life have been a part of pop culture for the last three decades. ... Year 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1983 Gregorian calendar). ...


Although he did not invent its mechanics and has never claimed to have done so, Michael Jackson came up with the name "moonwalk" and made it one of the most recognizable dance moves in history.


Despite the name, it would be very difficult to do the moonwalk on the moon, due to its low gravity.


Origin

Michael Jackson has since performed the "4 corner" moonwalk dance step as later seen in the Victory concert tour, though he modified this dance step to make it appear as if he were floating & rotating in a circle in the same spot. This step (also called the "circle moonwalk") involves crossing the heel of one shoe over the toe of the other shoe, then sliding the flat footed shoe backwards while at the same time crossing the reverse heal over the toe of the opposite shoe. Then with a slight twist of the ankles in either direction creates a slow spinning effect of your whole body. The illusion is to make it appear that you are walking forward while your body is actually turning in a circle. Michael Jackson then later modified this dance as a stationary moonwalk (without the turning effect) as seen in the "Smooth Criminal" & "JAM" music videos. Audio sample Smooth Criminal is a song on Michael Jacksons Bad album (1987). ... Jam was a 1992 single by Michael Jackson from his album Dangerous. ...


Backslides have been performed on numerous earlier occasions, recorded as early as 1955 ending a performance by tap dancer Bill Bailey. Prior to Jackson, Jeffrey Daniel was "moonwalking" in a performance of Shalamar's "A Night To Remember" on Top of the Pops in 1982. A member of the Electric Boogaloos performance group, Timothy 'Popin Pete' Solomon, also performed a "moonwalking" move in the Talking Heads video 'Crosseyed And Painless' which aired around 1981. Jeffrey Daniel (right) with fellow Shalamar band members, Howard Hewett and Jody Watley Jeffrey Daniel (often misspelt as Jeffrey Daniels) (born Los Angeles, California on August 24, 1955) is an American dancer and singer, most notable for being a member of the soul vocal group Shalamar. ... Hewett, Watley, and Daniel Shalamar was an American musical group of the 1970s and 1980s that was originally a disco-driven vehicle created by Soul Train booking agent Dick Griffey. ... Top of the Pops, also known as TOTP, was a long-running British music chart television programme, made and broadcast by the BBC. It was originally shown each week, mostly on BBC One, from 1 January 1964 to 30 July 2006. ... The Electric Boogaloo is a Street dance or Urban Dance group that focused on a style called the electric boogaloo, a variant of popping. ... Talking Heads were an American rock band existing between 1974 and 1991, composed of David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison. ...


Cab Calloway was performing a type of backsliding in the early days of his career. The earliest film record of this is from the 1932 Talkartoon Minnie The Moocher, an animated Betty Boop cartoon that features a live action sequence of Cab Calloway and his band. In this sequence we can see Cab Calloway dance in a style that clearly predates moonwalking, popping and electric boogaloo. Cab Calloway, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1933 Cab Calloway (December 25, 1907–November 18, 1994) was a famous American jazz singer and bandleader. ... Bimbo in the 1931 Talkartoon Silly Scandals. ... Betty Boop from the opening title sequence of the earliest entries in the Betty Boop Cartoons Betty Boop is an animated cartoon character appearing in the Talkartoon and Betty Boop series of films produced by Max Fleischer and released by Paramount Pictures. ... Electric boogaloo is a style of funk dance and street dance closely related to popping. ...


External links

Wikibooks
Wikibooks has a book on the topic of
How to Moonwalk
  • How to moonwalk
  • Animated Instruction
  • http://www.compfused.com/directlink/525/
  • purported video of Bill Bailey circa 1955 doing "first moonwalk"
  • Michael Jackson performing his first moonwalk at Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever

  Results from FactBites:
 
Moonwalk: Moonwalk - The dance form that Michael Jackson popularized (384 words)
The purpose of the moonwalk is to give the illusion that the dance is walking forward while mysteriously moving backward.
The actual Moonwalk as it is known in dance is a four corner illusion dance, which makes it seem as if the dance is sliding around in a square shape on the floor.
The Moonwalk is a graceful blend of floating, gliding and sliding.
Moonwalk (dance) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (442 words)
The moonwalk or backslide is a popping move that gained widespread popularity after being performed by Michael Jackson on the 1983 television special Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, and has since become his signature move.
Although he did not invent the mechanics of the move, his variation of the moonwalk is his trademark and one of the most recognizable dance moves in history.
The purpose of the moonwalk is to give the illusion that the dancer is walking forward while mysteriously moving backward.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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