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Secret Unraveled Behind Michael Jackson’s Gravity-Defying Dance Move

Childhood mystery finally solved!

Mark Andrew

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“Smooth Criminal” is undoubtedly one of Michael Jackson’s biggest hits. The dancy music and catchy refrain (“Annie, are you okay?”) has made the song a favorite among many.

It is therefore not surprising that it has become one of the most covered tracks from the Bad album.

Off the top of my head, I can recall Alien Ant Farm covered the song several years ago. More recently though, a group of Japanese musicians did their own rendition using traditional instruments such as bamboo flute and a harpa. Both are praiseworthy and interesting, but frankly, the original version is still way better.

Smooth Criminal’s music video showed Michael Jackson debuting the iconic anti-gravity lean.

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Of course, who can forget about the impossible anti-gravity lean that the King of Pop and his dancers do whenever they perform this song? As kids, I remember me and my friends tried to imitate the dance move but alas, we all failed miserably. We thought Michael Jackson must be more than a musician – he’s probably doing some magic, too!

The photos and video below though shows us exactly how Jacko executed this iconic trick.

Yes, it is a trick since the lean required certain tools and techniques to perform. Besides, MJ and his crew used special shoes for “Smooth Criminal” which were specifically designed for the dance tune.

The patented shoes’ upper part provides flexibility and comfort at the same time.

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Photo credit: Patents
Thus, the unique design guarantees a successful performance of the lean.

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Photo credit: Patents
The heel slides over the pegs to ensure stability for the wearer.

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Photo credit: Patents
Go watch the video to see how it works:

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According to the data we’ve gathered, Michael Jackson created the shoes along with Michel L. Bush and Dennis Tompkins.

Admittedly, discovering this ruined my childhood a bit but I still got to give it to MJ – the guy’s a real genius. Also, the fact that the trick requires tremendous strength makes this no less than impressive.

As Wikipedia effectively explained:

To accomplish this maneuver, a hitching mechanism which Jackson co-patented was built into the floor of the stage and the performers’ shoes, thereby allowing performers to lean without needing to keep their centers of mass directly over their feet. The system consists of pegs that rise from the stage at the appropriate moment and special shoes with ankle supports and cutouts in the heels which can slide over the pegs and be temporarily attached to the stage. However, the trick still required strong core strength.

Entertainment

These Japanese Bamboo Flute Players Cover Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ And It Is Amazing!

These Japanese bamboo players took ‘Smooth Criminal’ to a whole new greatness level.

Inah Garcia

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We think no one could ever dethrone Michael Jackson in his "King of Pop" label. Even though he had already passed away, his charm, good music and overall energy during his performances shall linger on and on for the next generations.

One of the many things that people loved about Michael is of course, his portfolio of songs. His songs are upbeat, unique and would definitely make anyone want to dance. Among the all-time favorites is "Smooth Criminal," which is Michael's seventh single from his 1987 album Bad. The song has a fast-paced beat and is perfectly combined with well-written lyrics, featuring the story of Annie, who was attacked in her apartment by a "smooth" assailant.

Fast forward to the present, "Smooth Criminal" has had many appearances in various MJ re-released and greatest hits album. Young musicians have come up with their own covers, hoping to relieve the greatness of the "King." But we think one of the most interesting covers of the song is its Japanese instrumental version, featuring Professional shakuhachi (bamboo flute) player Yoshimi Tsujimoto and a backup duo of koto (Japanese harpa) players, including Yuko Watanabe.

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Entertainment

The 3 Wildest and Most Wicked GoPro Videos Ever Captured

These GoPro videos deserve a prize!

Ann Moises

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Numerous people who love film and photography also fell in love with Nick Woodman’s creation: the GoPro.

Over the years, the improvements on its line allowed hundreds of GoPro enthusiasts to capture stunning and unbelievable photos and videos that permitted the audience to experience what the person behind the camera experiences.

In case you don’t know, GoPro awards up to $5 million in cash yearly to amateur and professional content creators. The company offers $500 for the best photos, $1,000 for the most amazing raw clips, and $5,000 for the most excellent video edits. All you have to do is to capture your passions on camera and submit them to their website for review.

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Entertainment

Smart Guy Builds Real-Life Version of Thor’s Hammer Only He Can Wield

This guy just built a cool Mjolnir replica that only he can lift

Mark Andrew

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A few days ago, we shared with you the fantastic NYCC creation of cosplayer Thomas DePetrillo who blew everyone’s socks off with his massive Hulkbuster costume.

So should his fellow Avengers be far behind? Well, it looks like a real-life Thor has also landed on Earth. Or at least, an engineer has built a very cool replica of the Mjolnir.

This hammer is so cool that only one person can lift it - exactly like Thor’s mythical weapon of choice.

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