How was Michael Jackson's smell

This is how the King of Pop overcame gravity

The physics in dance
In the video for “Smooth Criminal” Michael Jackson tilts forward 45 degrees with his stretched body. Now scientists have discovered what is behind the seemingly impossible move.
Wikimedia Commons / Casta03
Michael Jackson at a concert in 1992. The musician and dancer was famous for his unusual choreographies.

You have to know that

  • The 45 degree forward tilt in Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" is physically impossible.
  • Now researchers have found out how the King of Pop managed to do it anyway: He invented a special shoe.
  • With it he could anchor himself in the stage and thus trick gravity.

Michael Jackson was not only famous for his moonwalk. He also invented a choreography in which the dancers in the video for his hit "Smooth Criminal" lean forward 45 degrees with their bodies stretched out. A trick, many thought, but Jackson also impressed with the move at live concerts. However, even professional dancers did not succeed in imitating this: the best among them only manage an angle of 25 to 30 degrees with a fully stretched body. Indian researchers have now described how the feat nevertheless succeeds.

The graphic shows how far normal mortals can lean forward. And how the King of Pop overcomes this all too mundane problem.

Basically it is clear: the position is physically and anatomically impossible. Because with such an inclination, the ankle joint forms the axis of rotation - the load of the whole body lands on the Achilles tendon. And it is well known that it cannot withstand that much. It is different when we lean forward and the hip joint forms the axis of rotation. Here the back muscles bear the weight of the body. So although Michael Jackson was certainly well trained - he couldn't make the 45-degree forward tilt without a little trickery.

Jackson had a shoe specially patented in October 1993 that contained a triangular notch in the sole heel. With this he was able to hook the shoe onto a nail-like device that protruded from the stage - and thus, well anchored, lean far forward. However, this also requires a lot of skill: Untrained people cannot make a full 45-degree tip, according to the researchers. So despite all the science, a little bit of myth still remains with us.

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