It doesn't matter what generation you belong to, dancers need to know how to do the Moonwalk in order to complete their dance training. After all, you never know when you might need to Moonwalk. The Moonwalk takes its name from the walk that looks like the movements the astronauts did when they walked on the Moon. The spacesuits were cumbersome and the astronauts were warned to protect the suits from damage or there wouldn't be a return trip home. The film footage sent back showed the astronauts moving slowly in a walk that made them look like they were floating lighting above the ground, touching down only every so often.
To do the Moonwalk, you will need:
- hardwood floor
- hard sole shoes
- large mirror
- Moonwalk-appropriate music
- Get the body position correct. This is the hardest part of doing the Moonwalk and the part some people never master. You have to float above the ground and your body needs to stand with your weight tipped forward. Your heels need to move out behind the body, but the movement of the dance pushes you backwards. If this seems difficult, it is. That's the reason so many people aren't very good at the Moonwalk and so few dancers can be considered masters, a la Mr. Michael Jackson.
- Work your feet. Unfortunately, the lighter-than-air walk that the astronauts did is impossible to replicate on the planet. It also ties with the toughest part of the Moonwalk. The key to the faux walk is actually using your foot to move while it appears to onlookers that you're simply floating. Use the ball of your foot to push off and float your heel near the ground. This works your feet so they appear to be moving in a normal walk, but with a floating motion. Forget anything else until you get this part of the movement down. No need to travel large distances, get your moves down on a small scale at this point.
- Get the arms and hands moving. After your body floats and you feel comfortable with your feet action, get your look on with your arms and hands. The Moonwalk dance is all about control, so you'll want to make sure your hands and arms do purposeful movements. No flailing around or you'll ruin the hard work you've done with your feet. Arms and hands can mimic a robot-type look or simply hang out by your sides in a stylistic look. Whatever you do, do it with a purpose. Use a mirror to take a good look at what your arms are doing.
- Use your head. Your head has an important part of the Moonwalk, and it demands more practice session with the mirror. The most important tip for your head is do not, under any circumstances, look at what your feet are doing. This is a sure sign of a bush-league Moonwalker. Your head should look like you're actually walking calmly. Your feet and legs do all the work. If you're into cool, grab a hat and use the headgear to establish your total look. That way you can even seek a peak at your feet and nobody will be the wiser.
- Travel with it. Once you have all the basics down, put on your music and travel across the floor. Move slowly at first and then integrate your moves into popping, breaking, clowning and crunking. You're Moonwalking!