As jacko turns 50, celebrate by learning his famous dances – you just can’t beat it!

By Elizabeth McMahon

It’s impossible to deny Michael Jackson’s contribution to music. He moonwalked into the world 50 years ago and although his tunes may not have healed the place, they have certainly improved it for pop fans. He has chosen to celebrate his half century by releasing King of pop, a new album of his best work. Across the world, people voted for their all time favourite Jackson hits and each country has its own unique album according to what the fans there chose.

But how should one personally commemorate such an occasion? Why, by attending Anthony King’s Michael Jackson Style Dance class at Pineapple Studios, of course. King is a celebrity choreographer who specialises in Jacko. He has also written a book and released a DVD. Anthony King’s Thriller Dance Workout. So my hopes were high – would my cellulite take a leaf out of Michael’s book and Beat it?


When I met Anthony I learned the reason for his interest in MJ: his stepbrother worked for Jackson, so while we were all practising that famous “Hee-Hee” move in our bedrooms, he was watching it for real. It was clear from our initial handshake that Anthony King has a passion for dance. He is dynamic, enthusiastic and charismatic. His favourite MJ song is Wanna be starting somethin’ – and I certainly had high hopes this class would be the start of something special for this Jacko-lover.


PINEAPPLE dance studios fits perfectly with the required Eighties ambience – it’s brimming with loose-limbed, energetic types in legwarmers. I felt like I’d stepped into an episode of Fame. There were around 20 of us in the studio – a good turnout for a Wednesday night – and we all immediately felt included as Anthony made a point of addressing us all personally. We warmed up with some intense jogging on the spot. Watching my thighs jiggle in the mirror was not much of a treat but it got the blood flowing. The overall routine was based on Beat it but Anthony said that every class is different so, if you go regularly, you will be treated to an array of hits. I was milding disappointed, having dreamed of learning the moves to Michael Jackson dance and Learn how to dance like a zombie Michael Jackson Style to Thriller, but was already hooked and vowed to come back.


WE SLOWLY and carefully built up an intricate routine over the hour. Anthony took the time to explain each section, demontrating what he meant in front of the class and then giving us the opportunity to practice before we attempted to put it to the music. This was all well and good for those with some semblance of rhythm, but I had difficulties with my motor skills as the moves became progressively more complex.

But even though I was much less coordinated than most I still felt pretty damn good as we bounced around to the infectious beat. Even if you are exceptionally inept, it is impossible not to enjoy yourself. By the end of the class, I was sweaty and exhilarated. I had even kind of mastered the routine in my own special way.


ANTHONY believes that dance allows you to gain a physical and psychological high very quickly. I can certainly vouch for that: his high energy class really did get us all going – there were even a few Michael-style yelps from the more enthusiatic among us. Dance movements are multidirectional and therefore good for your joints, while the weightbearing moves can improve bone density. And if you really go for it, you can burn up to 500 calories in one session. Dancing is also good for balance and agility and the whole process helps to flush out toxins and alleviates stress. Regular participation can reduce your heart rate, lower blood and improve cholesterol levels. You can’t really argue with all of that, can you? Learning how to dance like Michael Jackson and watch and learn more Michael Jackson Dance Moves I know that I felt full of beans as I left the studios – in fact I got a few funny looks as I practised my moves on the way home.


IF YOUR’RE looking for an entertaining way to burn calories and love all things MJ then this class is perfect for you. It is not pretentious or intimidating – no one takes anything too seriously apart, of course, from the music. So did I fullfill my need to celebrate Jacko’s 50th Definetely. Michael Jackson Moves. Was I any good? Hmm. When asked his thoughts on the white- gloved one, Bob Geldof famously said: “When Michael Jackson sings, it’s with the voice of angels and when his feet move, you can see god dancing”. I would like to say that I exhibited similar qualities but if I did, i would be telling atrocious porky pies.

London Lite, Anthony King review by Elizabeth McMahon