How to Moonwalk like Michael Jackson

In this video we'll learn how to perform the "moonwalk" dance, made popular by Michael Jackson.

Self Study

Dictation

Listen to the dialogue in the episode again. Try to write down what they say and then check with the answers below.

Transcript

In this tutorial, we’re going to focus on learning how to moonwalk.

I’ll go over some fundamentals and give you some step by step instructions.

Let’s get started with some basics.

Your weight is going to be on your toes most of the time.

You can dance on the tip of your toe, or on the base of your toe, whichever you prefer.

In this tutorial I’m demonstrating from the base of my toe because that’s how most beginners will learn, but once you gain enough toe strength, you’ll want to graduate to using the tip of your toe, because that’s going to maximise the illusion of your moonwalk.

It’s also most effective if you can keep this angle at at least 45 degrees or better, to make your moonwalk look as clean as possible.

Now that you understand the basics, let’s move on.

I’ll show you step by step.

You start with your feet side by side.

Go up on your toes and slide your opposite foot back.

And then shift your weight.

Here’s that weight transition again.

This is going to be a quick snapping motion, so the naked eye can’t detect that your weight has shifted.

Then just keep your foot flat with your leg straight, slide it back, just the same as before.

And shift your weight once again.

You always want your sliding leg to be straight and your opposite knee to be bent.

Quick recap.

Go up on your toe and slide your opposite foot back, then shift your weight, and repeat.

It’s not going to be easy at first, but with repetition, you’ll be able to do this, no sweat!

Self Study

Use a voice recorder to try to summarize what they said in the episode. You can use the questions and answers below to help.

Questions

What did this tutorial teach us?

What celebrity made the moonwalk famous?

Is the moonwalk easier to perform on the tips of your toes or on the base of your toes?

Why?

After a lot of practice, will the moonwalk become easier to perform?

Answers

What did this tutorial teach us?

It showed us how to moonwalk.

It taught us how to perform “the moonwalk”

We learned how to moonwalk.

What celebrity made the moonwalk famous?

Michael Jackson made the moonwalk very popular.

Michael Jackson made the moonwalk famous.

Michael Jackson popularised the moonwalk.

Is the moonwalk easier to perform on the tips of your toes or on the base of your toes?

It’s easier to perform on the base of your toes.

Performing it on the tips of your toes is harder than on the base of your toes.

Why?

Because you put a lot of weight on your toes.

It’s easier to balance on the base of your toes.

After a lot of practice, will the moonwalk become easier to perform?

Yes, it’ll be “no sweat.”

Yes, it’ll become easier to perform.

Notes

Notes

In this video, we’re going to learn how to do the "moonwalk."

The moonwalk is a dance move that was made very popular by Michael Jackson.

The dance is a type of optical illusion, where our eyes think, or perceive, that the dancer is moving forward, but in reality he’s actually moving backwards.

The clip’s narrator explains that this is a tutorial. In this context, a tutorial is a set of instructions that teaches you how to do something.

First, he says that we’ll learn some fundamentals. Fundamentals means the main points, or the most important parts of the dance.

Then he explains that we’ll learn step-by-step, this means we’ll learn the dance moves in order.

He tells us that “our weight will be on our toes most of the time”, this means that when we do the dance we’ll be leaning on our toes. It might be a little bit uncomfortable, because our feet must support most of our body weight.

He also says that when you do the moonwalk you can either dance on the tips of your toes, or on the base of your toes.

Dancing on the base of your toes, or feet, is much easier, than dancing on the tips of your toes.

Dancing on the tips of your toes requires a lot of strength and balance. In this tutorial, he shows us how to moonwalk on the base of our toes, but after we’ve practiced a lot and our toes are much stronger, he recommends trying to do the moonwalk on the tips of our toes. That way it will ‘maximise the illusion”, or make the dance (optical illusion) look more impressive or realistic.

In addition, he mentions that we should try to arch our feet at an angle of at least 45 degrees. The higher the better, to make our moonwalk look “as clean as possible”. Here “clean” means smooth. The higher the angle, the smoother and more natural the dance move looks.

To do the moonwalk we should first start with our feet side by side, or together.

Then, arch one foot so that your bodyweight is on your toes, and slide your opposite foot in a backwards motion.

After that, “shift your weight”, or transfer your body weight from the first leg to the second leg.

When we “shift our weight” we should snap our legs, or quickly transfer our weight, so that people don’t notice it and it looks smooth and natural.

If something can be seen “by the naked eye” it means that we can see it naturally, without using glasses, or special equipment, or slow motion replays.

We can’t see some planets with the naked eye, we need to use a telescope.

Some sports use slow motion replays, because the referees or umpires can’t see with the naked eye.

And finally do the process again with the other foot.

We should try to keep our sliding leg straight, and our opposite knee bent.

At the end of the video he gives us a “quick recap.” A recap is when you repeat the most important parts one more time to emphasise them.

He highlights that the move will be quite difficult to perform at first, but after some practice, we’ll be able to do it “no sweat” or easily.