Michael Jackson’s leaning shoes explains the 45 degree leans from ‘Smooth Criminal’

by Gareth Mankoo

Michael Jackson’s demise has left a deep gash on our minds thus bringing to mind the glory years of the master of song and dance. What separated him from everyone else is that he had all the right moves that complemented his foot tapping compositions. From ‘Thrller’ to ‘Bad’, from ‘Heal the World’ to ‘Earth Song’, Jackson created a magic in every subgenre of pop that he launched into mainstream entertainment. His live performances involved dance moves that were completely beyond what many had seen before. His troop of dancers seems to gel flawlessly well into the grove that he would lead on. From the famous steps like the much acclaimed ‘moon walk’ and shoulder jerks, the 45 degree leaning from the video of ‘Smooth Criminal’ left most fans dazzled. Adolescent fantasies hinted to me that my ‘dance god’ created magic to defy natural physics. But the answer to this secret move lies in the patent that was filed for the shoes that needed to be worn to perform this step, in 1992. Instead of mythical magic it just took a little playing around with a dancer’s center of gravity and these shoes of course, to make the leaning posture simpler than most people imagined it to be. The ‘King of Pop’ managed to spread some his own new moves all across the world, from Antarctica to Africa, youngsters imitated the moves of the master of the stage and shall continue to do so.

The 45 degree lean is just one among the many mysteries of MJ to be revealed. Given the fact that the legend has really dug the roots of his music deep in our hearts, we can expect a lot more in the future. May his soul Rest in Peace, and may his message of peace and humanity ring in our ears forever!

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