How to Lean Like Michael Jackson

By Contributor

Almost as popular as the moonwalk, Michael Jackson's lean, called the anti-gravity lean, has long been a coveted move since the video for Smooth Criminal was released. Michael's patented (literally!) move is not done without the aid of special shoes, but anyone who can get their hands on a pair can give it a shot. Here's how to lean like Michael Jackson:

Find Yourself Some Anti-Gravity Shoes

This is probably more difficult than trying to do the move itself. Michael Jackson applied for a patent for the shoes that he created with the help of two friends, which allow the wearer to lean beyond their center of gravity. He never allowed the shoes to be released to consumers, but various plans - and even a mark-up showing the plans for the original shoe - are available online; I actually have two pairs that I found on eBay, myself. Occasionally, someone will release their version of the shoe on eBay or Amazon, although something tells me the shoes will probably be available for consumers in a short time. Keep your eye own for "Michael Jackon leaning shoes," or attempt to make them yourself using the drawn example on the U.S. Patent website (or check out a copy of the drawings and the patent application below)

Slip the Shoes On

After you've managed to either make or score yourself a pair of the shoes, put them on. It will be hard at first for you to lean and balance, because your mind will tell you that your body can't go that far, and you'll likely cause yourself to fall over. Practice by holding onto a bar, a chair, or even the wall as you start to lean forward. Go slowly, but don't go too slow - the shoes engaged when enough to trigger the trap, and if you move too slow, the trap won't engage, and you really will fall over.

Disengaging the Shoes

Once you've got the leaning part down, you'll notice the trap snaps down as quick as you can lean your body past normalcy. Coming back up and disengaging the shoes, however, is a little more tricky. Practice leaning backwards to bring your body back to its perfect center, which will take a lot of leg and back strength. Simply standing back up or falling over will leave the shoes engaged, and you won't be able to stand up properly while wearing them. Leaning backwards will not only bring you back to your beginning position, but properly disengage the shoes so that you can continue dancing, and perform the trick again later in your routine.

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