Michael Jackson, a.k.a. the King of Pop, left an amazing legacy behind, which includes his biggest hits and amazing dance moves that are merely impossible to imitate—especially his iconic gravity-defying tilt in the 1987 video Smooth Criminal. Yes, we feel that it's impossible to do, but scientists have weighed in and there are reasons MJ was able to do this move!
Is it possible?
In an article published in Journal of Neurosurgery, neurosurgeons and self-proclaimed Michael Jackson fans, Nishant S. Yagnick, Manjul Tripathi, and Sandeep Mohindra explain why the step is physically impossible.
When the body is leaning forward with the sole support and keeping the feet in a straight line, the weight does not hold up in the spine, as is usually the case, but falls on the Achilles heel. The posture requires incredible muscular strength, but surgeons say that an experienced dancer would only reach a maximum of between 25º and 30º, far from the 45º that the King of Pop portrayed in his video and concerts.
"It's not really possible physically to do it," said neurosurgeon Dr. Nishant Yagnick. "He was cheating gravity." "You can bend a maximum of 25 or 30 degrees forward before you fall on your face," added Dr. Manjul Tripathi who tried to do the move and fell.
So, how did he do it?
Well, it seems that the secret is found in the patent of some shoes registered in the name of the musician. According to CNN, they "have a specially designed heel slot which can be detachably engaged with a 'hitch' projected through the stage surface by simply sliding the shoe wearer's foot forward, thereby engaging with the hitch member."
These magic shoes would be the answer to the mystery, although doctors explain that even with this help the movement is very difficult to achieve, insofar as it requires great muscular strength, especially in the abdomen.
Don't try it at home!
If you are eager to try the famous step (or if you already tried before finishing the article), we warn you that doctors do not recommend it because it supports all the weight of the body in the Achilles heel and can cause injuries. Your best bet is to do the moonwalk!
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