Michael Jackson's Dance Thriller premiered in 1983. It was a hit when it debuted, and remains a beloved classic to this day. It's hard not to dance when this song is playing, and it's even more fun to dance when you know the steps. To dance Thriller, learn the steps and then you can dress up and present what you have learned.
Part 1 of 3: Learn the Steps
Step 1. Take four steps forward
You should start right when the music turns into a 1-2-3-4 beat. Start on the right foot first. Then take four steps back with your right foot first. Repeat.
Step 2. Tilt your head to the side
Move it in the first beat and don't move it in the second. Repeat the movement on the third and fourth beats. This part should begin when Michael Jackson begins to sing.
Step 3. Roll to the side and extend your arms
This step should begin directly after moving the head on the fourth beat. Put one arm in front of you and one behind. You must stretch your arms. Then bend your knees. Get your butt out and shake it up and down. Then step forward and shake yourself off.
Step 4. Put your hands in a claw shape
You must extend your fingers, separate them and bend them. Wave your hand forward and then pull back like you're pulling a bush. Repeat this step twice and then change the side you are clawing on.
Step 5. Stand up straight
Stay still and upright. Tilt your head back and lean back a little with one leg in front. Then jump forward twice. Once you've jumped, slightly bend your knees, one leg out and the other to the side. Put your hand on the belt. The other hand will be stretched out to the side.
Step 6. Lean forward
Go down with your whole body. The reason it's called "down ha!" it's because when you come back up you make a face like you're yelling "Ha!". Repeat this step four times.
Step 7. Place your hands on your head
Right after the "down ha!" raise your hands and place them directly on the head. At this point, you will hear applause on the music. Lower them slowly and drag your feet to the side. Shrug your shoulders and turn your head to the side. Repeat the movement in the other direction.
Step 8. Improvise during the break
There will be an 8 beat pause where you can do any zombie step you want. Then wave your hands in front of you. Strike a discus pose with one hand up and the other down.
- Pose and change position every other time. You can lift your "claws" and pose, or do a discus pose.
- Choose a partner and dance together for the eight beats.
- Spend eight times walking slowly and creepily to another location.
Step 9. Walk forward three times
Put your "claws" to the side and start walking forward for three beats. Then turn the other way and walk back. Now, you must walk in the direction that you originally came from. Move for 3 beats.
Step 10. Jump
Then lean forward and try to touch your toes twice. Pause and pose for four counts, jump to the other side, and then repeat. Then turn around and place one hand on your head. Move your feet for a while. Then, raise your arm again and lower it, but this time you must stop and go down for 5 beats. Make a movement as if you are grabbing the air on one side and then hitting it four times on the other side.
Step 11. Turn your head four times
Then turn your body in 6 steps until you are facing the opposite direction. Look back and pat yourself on the leg, then take 10 steps back. You should try to sync it exactly before the chorus starts a second time in the song because that's where the next step comes in. Go slower or faster depending on how close you are to the chorus.
Part 2 of 3: Getting the Look
Step 1. Tear off some old clothes
Dive into the Thriller dance by dressing up as a zombie. First, find old clothes that you will no longer wear. You can wear pants or a skirt and a shirt. Or you can wear a dress. It depends on you. Eighties-style clothing is ideal because that's the decade Thriller came out in. Use scissors or your hands to break them up so they look very old.
You can find cheap clothes at a thrift store if you don't have clothes that you are willing to rip
Step 2. Mess up your hair
Zombies most likely don't have very neat hair. Weigh your fingers through your hair to make it really messy. You can use a comb to comb the hair in different directions. Use hairspray to set the sloppy hairstyle.
Put some leaves or twigs in your hair if you want to intensify the zombie look
Step 3. Wear zombie makeup
The goal with makeup is to make it look like you've been dead and rotten a long time ago. Put on too little foundation to look pale. Use dark eyeshadow or black eyeliner to create dark circles. Apply more dark eyeshadow to your cheeks to make them look haggard. Next, take a reddish purple eyeshadow and apply it to make it look like you have wounds all over your face.
- You can buy fake wound kits at many costume stores.
- Wear zombie contact lenses if you want to look creepier.
Step 4. Put on fake blood
A zombie costume is not complete without fake blood. Buy fake blood for costumes, or make it with red food coloring, water, and corn syrup. Splash the blood on your face, arms, and legs if they are uncovered. Pour it over torn clothing and dab a small amount on your hair. Make sure the fake blood doesn't irritate your skin before applying lots of it.
Mix some dirt with the blood to make it look dirtier
Part 3 of 3: Perform the dance
Step 1. Gather a group of friends
Thriller is a dance that is best performed with a group of people. Gather a group of friends who are willing to learn to dance with you. You can gather as many friends as you want to dance Thriller. Learn the dance steps together and practice until everyone is sure they remember them.
You can name a person to act like Michael Jackson and be the lead
Step 2. Learn the lyrics to Thriller
You can sing or pronounce the words while dancing. If you don't want to sing, it's good to learn the lyrics so you know when to do the steps.
You can choose to have the person who acts like Michael Jackson be the only one to sing
Step 3. Play the music
It is important that the music plays while you dance. Buy the song or play it on a streaming service like YouTube or Spotify. You can use a computer or set up speakers to play the music. If you choose to sing, play the karaoke version of the song.
Step 4. Dance at a party or event
Show off the hard work you did by presenting the dance for other people. You can make a plan to suddenly start dancing at a party or perform at an event. Make sure there is no problem if you present the dance at the place and time of your choice.
You can also plan a Thriller flash mob
- Take dancing further by acting out the non-dancing parts of the music video.
- Looking for videos will give you examples of how to perform the dance. You can also use the videos as an instructional tool.
- Don't take any steps that force your body.
- Try to be silent if you practice in a shared space.