Unforgettable Dance Routines from Michael Jackson’s Music Videos

Michael Jackson was not only known for his unique and iconic voice but also for his incredible dance skills. Throughout his career, he created some of the most memorable dance moves that have now become a part of pop culture. In this article, we will take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the unforgettable dance routines from his music videos.

The Moonwalk

The first dance routine that comes to mind when we think of Michael Jackson is undoubtedly the Moonwalk. This classic move was first showcased during a performance of “Billie Jean” on the TV special “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever” in 1983. It has since become one of the most iconic dance moves in history. The way he glides across the stage with an almost effortless grace leaves us in awe every time we see it. The Moonwalk has been imitated by countless dancers, but no one has been able to do it quite like the King of Pop.


In 1982, Michael Jackson released the music video for “Thriller” which was directed by John Landis. The video not only changed the way music videos were made forever but also showcased some of the most unforgettable dance routines ever captured on film. The entire video is a mini-movie, with a narrative that revolves around zombies and horror movie elements. The dance routine in the middle of the video, commonly referred to as the “zombie dance,” was a choreographed masterpiece that was performed by Jackson and a large group of dancers. The synchronized movements, coupled with the intricate makeup and costumes, make this dance routine one of the most memorable in history.

Smooth Criminal

In 1988, the music video for “Smooth Criminal” was released, and it became an instant hit. The video features Michael in a slick white suit performing alongside dancers who are dressed in similar attire. The standout dance routine from the video is the “lean.” During the song’s chorus, Michael and his dancers lean forward in an impossible angle, defying the laws of physics. This dance move is accomplished using special shoes designed by Jackson himself. The shoes contain a slot in the heels that snaps onto a raised nail in the stage, allowing the dancers to lean forward without falling. This dance routine continues to captivate audiences to this day.


The music video for “Bad” was released in 1987 and featured another iconic dance routine. The video was directed by Martin Scorsese, and it showcased Michael in a street fight with his friends, including Wesley Snipes. The standout dance routine was the “bad dance,” which was performed in a subway station. The dance is a mix of hip-hop and pop, and it features Michael and his dancers performing in sync with each other. The dance sequence was a testament to Michael’s ability to creatively incorporate street dance and pop into his routines.

Black or White

The music video for “Black or White” was released in 1991 and was another groundbreaking achievement in music videos. The video featured special effects that were unprecedented for its time, and the dance routine towards the end of the video was nothing short of incredible. Michael is seen dancing in an empty alleyway alongside a group of dancers from different cultures and ethnicities. The dance is a mixture of different styles, including rock, hip-hop, and even traditional African dance. The routine was visually stunning, and it conveyed a message of global unity and diversity.

The Way You Make Me Feel

In 1987, the music video for “The Way You Make Me Feel” was released. The video featured Michael trying to win over a woman by dancing and serenading her on the streets of Los Angeles. The standout dance routine in the video was the “street dance,” which was performed by Michael and a group of dancers in an alleyway. The routine showcased Michael’s incredible ability to incorporate different styles of dance, including street dance and pop, into a seamless routine.


Michael Jackson’s music videos were not only known for their incredible music but also for their groundbreaking dance routines. From the Moonwalk to the “bad dance” and the “zombie dance,” each dance routine showcased Michael’s incredible talent and creativity. His influence on music and pop culture will never be forgotten, and his dance routines will continue to captivate audiences for generations to come.