Thursday, 27 October 2016

Learn One of History's Most Complicated Dances

I am talking about 'Thriller' by the king of pop, Michael Jackson. To this day, it is the most widely known & used Halloween party song, and many movies and TV shows feature this song and people dancing. There are many Thriller flash mobs around the world, as well as wedding dances and simplified YouTube tutorials that cut out steps. But what if you want to be able to keep up with what you see in the actual video?

See the full music video here

Rather than trying to upload a video tutorial (who hasn't?), I watched the video scientifically and counted the steps, so that you have a chance to practice before that Halloween party and impress your friends. Let's learn and practice.

Thriller Steps

This song/dance goes on a 1-2-3-4 beat count, but it’s okay to count up to 8.

While it’s just music…

1)      Shuffle march forward while counting in head, and on even-numbered beats, tilt head to right shoulder. Do this 3 times, before…

2)      Facing slightly left, and walking forward/toward right side while ‘twerking’ (count 8)…

3)      Then act as though clawing through bushes, 2 counts on left, then 2 counts on right (facing); remember to lift head for 1st count on each side.

4)      Now look up and hop, then hop 2x forward and bow down, then pivot to face left again.

5)      Now put left hand on lower abdomen (not crotch) and ‘air hump’ for 4 counts while the right arm stays at a 45* angle; make a ‘ha’ face with each ‘hump’.

6)      Now clap high up in the air, and slide to your left while wiggling your head; stomp right foot while looking left;

7)      Clap again and slide right this time, stomp left foot and still look left.

8)      For 8 counts (like a ‘cha cha cha’) wiggle and hop forward slightly…

9)      Then lead with your right foot and do a hand swing to the right and then left, then proceed to wiggle hips back & forth for a count of 4, while using strong arm swings downward…

10)   Then swing your right arm up like a disco move, and your left leg out to make a diagonal line for 1 count, before…

11)   Wiggling like before, only instead of lifting left arm, snap it downward with a sassy face, and proceed to the the famous ‘zombie claws’ dance move, which goes like:

a.       3 steps to the right (with hands in claw pose), then pivot toward left, then right again, then left and march 3 steps and repeat pivoting on left side. Then…

12)   Shake it out by jumping once and swinging downward for a count, and when you stand upright, use your right hand in conjunction with your hips & head, to swing back & forth for 4 counts (when hand is near abdomen for 4th count, jump to turn backward and repeat this swing move).

13)   Now pivot forward and grab the high air with your right hand for 1 count, pulling the ‘air’ around you into an air guitar move for 2 counts (left arm straight outward).

14)   Wiggle hips to the left for 4 counts, then repeat this time with right arm raised high & fist pumping as if though at a rock concert.

15)   Now swing to the right and ‘pull, pull, pull the air’ and swing to the left so you can ‘punch, punch, punch the air’.

16)   Now using your right foot as a base to pivot, turn yourself backward with your left foot with 6 steps to the beat (hands should be on hips)…

17)   And turn to look over your shoulder, with hands still on hips and leaning forward, do a wide shuffle with right foot leading, and for 10 steps (5 on each foot, obviously).

Now Michael begins the lyrics with “Cause this is Thriller…”

1)      From the last pose before lyrics, jump and turn forward, quickly shrugging shoulders and looking left. Now swing upper body toward left so your right shoulder is forward; arms should be out as if though holding the air to the left. Pull yourself two steps toward the air.

2)      Now you need some fancy footwork (fast moves). Use your left foot to ‘kick’ (not literally) your right foot into going out to the side, then cross over left foot so left foot goes out to side for a step, and then repeat crossing over right foot so right foot goes outward. So you’re walking forward with fancy ‘Footloose’ style moves for 3 counts (right, left, right).

3)      Now take a pose with arms up and elbows bent above your head (legs toward the left); for 1 count, wiggle hips from right to left, and on second count, just move your raised arms from right to left and back.

4)      Now hopping forward slightly, cross your left leg over right and then right over left. Now try to spin yourself once and quickly crouch down and slowly rise like a real zombie would.

5)      Okay, have you got steps 1-4 from the singing part of the song? Good, because now you repeat those steps like before.

6)      After the second go with the above steps, go back into steps 9 and 10 from before the lyrics (where you wiggle hips and do a disco move).

7)      Now you get to do the coveted zombie claws move again (step 11).

8)      This time, we jump from step 11 to step 16, where we pivot and shuffle backward.

9)      Now for the best part, are you ready…. Turn and pose in your scariest zombie monster stance! And you’ve successfully done one of the fastest, most complicated dances in history! High five! o(≧∇≦o)

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