How To Do The Moonwalk (Backslide)

Beginner Guides

How To Do The Moonwalk (Backslide)

Charise Roberts
January 23, 2024
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The Moonwalk is one of the most popular dance moves of all time.

It was popularized by Michael Jackson, however, the dance existed long before MJ took the stage!

It was called the Backslide, and you could see it being executed by dancers as early as the 1930s, especially in Jazz performances. It later became a staple in the Popping community.

Watch the move demonstrated here:

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If you’re more of a reader, keep scrolling and follow along with the steps below!

How to do the Moonwalk

  1. Let’s start with some basic foot mechanics and grooves! Turn on a song with an easy-to-follow beat. Start by bouncing up and down to the beat, and with each bounce, pop one knee. Pop left, pop right, pop left, pop right. Each time you bounce and pop, be sure to fully lift the heel of your foot off the ground as your knee bends.
  2. Now that you have the basic groove down, we’re going to try out the first element of the sliding motion that you’ll have to do with your feet. This time, instead of just bouncing and popping, you’re gonna do what’s called Sacking. You’ll stand with your feet together, then step forward with your right foot. Then, slide your right foot back to its original position (foot flat on the floor), and when your feet meet, pop your left foot and knee. Now try on the other side. Step with your left foot, slide it back, and pop your right foot and knee. Continue doing this motion on both the left and right side to the beat, and you should start to create the illusion of walking.
  3. Next, let’s add the backwards motion to your Moonwalk, so you’re no longer standing in place. Step with your right foot and start to glide back. But instead of waiting for your feet to meet before you pop your left knee, you’re gonna pop the left knee before your right foot finishes the glide. You’re also going to intentionally bring your right foot further back on the floor than where it started. The motion of going back further than your original position is what’s going to allow your body to start to travel backwards. Since you’re no longer coming to a feet together position, you also won’t have to step forward as you get into the groove. You can smoothly glide, pop, glide, pop without the step involved.

All done!

If you wanna learn more moves, check these posts out next:

How To Do The Cabbage Patch

How To Do The Carlton