Footwork Patterns in Dance: The Moonwalk

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The Moonwalk is a dance move that presents the illusion of the dancer being pulled backwards while attempting to walk forward. A popping move, it became popular around the world after Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk footwork during a performance of “Billie Jean” on Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever on March 25, 1983. The Moonwalk became his signature move.

The Technique

A Moonwalk dancer creates the appearance of gliding backwards. Initially, his front foot is held flat on the ground, while his back foot is in a tiptoe position. His flat front foot remains on the ground but he slides it lightly and smoothly backward past his tip-toe back foot. He lowers what is now his front foot and raises his back foot into a tiptoe position.  He repeats these steps creating the illusion that he is being pulled backwards by an unseen force while still trying to move forward.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moonwalk_(dance)

Photo Source:

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Dancing Shoe Battery, Version One

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“Since many ballerinas consider their shoes as almost extensions of their feet — vital pieces of equipment to help create the illusion that human beings were meant to dance on tiptoe — an entire unusual shoe culture crops up at dance companies.”

Michael Cooper of the New York Times describes how dancers at City Ballet, achieve an almost noiseless performance in their toe shoes. Before donning them, they pummel them.  He describes:

  • a nightly ritual of mercilessly whacking pink satin shoes against a cinder-block wall,
  • the incessant shoe battery… BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! that echoes throughout the backstage area,
  • the bending of shoes back and forth, and
  • crushing them in doors.

These rituals create ‘old’ soft shoes, which are then worn in comfort and moved in noiselessly.  At two pairs per performance and 10 or 12 pairs a week, the bill and the shoe-bullying can be a bit wearing. 

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/30/at-city-ballet-footwear-is-almost-as-important-as-feet/