Do you even lean, bro?

Just to give you fair warning, this post will be a mean one. I want you all to feel the same disappointment I felt several days ago, when all my hopes were dashed.

I had been trying for several days to learn how to do the Michael Jackson leaning forward dance move thing. I’ve been trying to practice this lean move, leaning into walls, couches, people, hoping to – I don’t know – strengthen my calve muscles to they can hold my body leaning at a beautiful 45° angle on the d-floor. So I set about practicing how to lean. Lean, Lean, Lean. It will pay off. I will lean. I did several years of ballet as a child, my body remembers dance! I can do this! I will Michael Jackson-Lean!

After a few days, though, I figured I should just Google ‘Michael Jackson lean dance move’ to learn the most efficient way to lean about. Clicking on Google images, I was rocked to my very core. Why am I being presented with schematics of shoes and bolts? I want to lean, but I guess I need some special dancing shoes, maybe they have good grip or are wider or something? Right click, open in new tab to investigate further…what? Oh no! No amount of leg-squatting, leg-pressing, or core tensing will enable me to do a spontaneous lean to impress everyone in a dance circle. The truth…the horrible, horrible truth. Forget about what was up with the Smoke Monster, whether the Odyssey and the Iliad were written by a single ‘Homer’, Larry Stylinson…forget about it; some truths we are simply not meant to know.

Here is how Michael did it (dance move spoilers ahead, you have been warned!). Wherever Michael was set to do the Lean there would be a bolt protruding slightly from the floor and he would have special shoes that had the under-soles slightly carved out and strips of metal that corresponded to the bolts. He would then be able to slide his shoes over the bolts and lock himself to the floor, thereby grounding himself in place and enabling him to lean all over the shop!

Sure, this probably still requires considerable leg strength, but how does that help me who only wants to slide on the dance floor, people maybe offering sideways glances at this innocent newcomer, only then to have their minds literally explode when they see me suddenly at an acute angle! How can this be possible? “Oh, it’s nothing really” I reply modestly and lean out the door into the night. Beautiful.

Now it turns out I need quite a lot of prep if I want to pull this off…still, not impossible. Step 1: hollow out my dressiest shoes.

Oh my god, shoes!


Google image search: how to do the Michael Jackson lean dance move.

Even for me, I feel this one is pretty stupid.


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