Thriller! We’re going to take a look at learning the dance moves and steps to Michael Jackson’s Thriller! We’re going to take a look specifically at the chorus with in a video filmed by the BBC with the presenter Alex Stanger. It’s a lot of fun learning the Thriller routine so don’t be too harsh on yourself… don’t forget you’re a ghoul from the grave as well!
To watch the video click here which will take you to a short video with a simplified variation/lesson for the BBC in a windows media player video file streamed on the BBC website (you can also watch the original BBC News story which featured footage from the session here.)
Thriller: Step by Step guide!
BBC reporter Alex Stanger is given a step-by-step guide to the Thriller dance by choreographer Anthony King. Click on the image below for the video
STEP BY STEP VIDEO LESSON (Anthony King/BBC)
Additional Thriller dance tips!
1) It is very easy to make the Thriller dance routine look terrible! ☺ The thing to remember is that you have to do this with high energy and real intention otherwise you will look like a complete nutter!
2) It’s also important to remember that this was choreographed by Michael Peters it is a JAZZ and FOSSE inspired piece of choreography. You must keep your lines completely straight. Make sure that you keep your spine completely straight like somebody is pulling you up with a piece of string. Try to keep hip movement to a minimum.
3) After the initial walk forward lean back about 40 degrees. Make sure that you keep straight and elongate every move. In fact, leaning back and will facilitate the moves and a good transition by encouraging the correct body posture (i.e., your shuffle to the right). At no point do you lean over and forward, even though you might feel like doing that with your shuffle forward and claws: stay leaning back with weight on the back leg. In fact, try and focus on keep the front leg as straight as you can.
4) Keep your arms straight! When you are doing your hip shuffle KEEP YOUR ARMS HORIZONTAL AND PERFECTLY STRAIGHT. Do not bounce them or let them drift. Keep leaning back but keep straight and let your hips do the moving.
5) Same with the head movement on the same move (the first “step”, throw your head with real passion and move like a crane. Think about the mechanics of a crane. Don’t just look to the left on that second step. Take your head UPWARDS IN FRONT OF YOU, THEN LOOK TO THE LEFT (WHILST KEEPING IT UP), THEN TAKE YOUR HEAD DOWN. 3 distinct parts and execute it in an energised FOSSE like style. This is what makes it look amazing.
6) Small things make a big difference! When you are walking forwards at the beginning…it’s not a walk! It’s a shuffle. Keep your legs LOCKED, do not bend at the knees, same with your initial shoulder movement. Keep your heels tight together and turn your feet out 45 degrees. Raise your shoulder to its maximum height and just finish it off with your head. Don’t lean into it at all. Keep your spine straight, and certainly DO NOT fall into the habit of moving your hips when you move your shoulder. Straight spine. Isolated shoulder raise, whist shuffling forward with straight locked legs! Keep your claw raised high and really contorted and evil! Let the evil show in your face! Finally, make sure that your elbow stays tucked in, don’t let it move out of alignment with your shoulder raise. It’s Thriller! ☺
So there are a few extra tips and a small step by step video of the main points of the Thriller chorus if you can’t make it down to the dance class! Remember that when Michael Jackson danced something… he really believed in it. Try not to laugh and joke around unless it’s your intention to laugh and joke around and have fun! Otherwise you will look like a nutter. Try and put yourself in a frame of mind and focus on each step slowly. Remember to do each step slowly with focus on form, isolation (moving on body part at a time without moving another – control). Remember that the dancers that Michael used in his original THRILLER video were trained dancers proficient in Jazz and Ballet and separate to that he had his lockers and breakers. It is not an easy dance to do well but very easy to do not well. Practice makes perfect! Good luck!
By Anthony King ©
DVDs: Michael Jackson moves Dance like Michael Jackson and learn the moves at home!
Anthony King’s Thriller Dance Workout DVD!
Two full MICHAEL JACKSON Style dance class routines with the classic moves plus additional lessons: Learn the MOONWALK, Learn the SIDE SLIDE, Learn the CIRCLE SLIDE. Special features include Anthony King’s demonstration Michael Jackson dance videos in London, special video clips, Reverse angle chapters, behind the scenes, interactive motion menus and much more!
Anthony King’s King Of Dance DVD!
Learn to dance like Michael Jackson with the full BILLIE JEAN style workout routine lesson and moves plus additional lessons: JAMES BROWN SHUFFLE! HOW TO SPIN LIKE MICHAEL JACKSON! PLUS a classic MOONWALK, SIDESLIDE and CIRCLE MOONWALK refresher lesson. Special features include slideshow and helpful notes and diagrams, gallery and much more!
Anthony King’s DON’T STOP DANCE WORKOUT DVD!
Learn the classic “MICHAEL JACKSON MOVES” learn the KICKS, turns and “MJ WALKS” in a classic workout routine! Learn the “YOU ROCK MY WORLD” walk, the classic MICHAEL JACKSON SHUFFLE, “SMOOTH CRIMINAL” Robotics and much more! Anthony King is back to teach you NEW moves and a new routine inspired by Michael Jackson’s “BAD”, “SMOOTH CRIMINAL” and much more!