Learn THRILLER Dance - Free Instructional Video by FUNKMODE - How to / Tutorial / Lesson
How to Do the Thriller
Michael Jackson's Thriller dance came out in 1983. It was a hit when it debuted, and it has remained a beloved classic to this day. It’s difficult not to dance when this song comes on, and it’s even more fun to dance when you know the moves. To do the Thriller, learn the moves, and then you can dress the part and perform what you’ve learned.
Learning the Moves
Take four steps forward.This should start right when the music turns into a 1-2-3-4 beat. Start with your right foot first. Then, take four steps back with your right foot first. Repeat.
Nod your head to one side.Nod on beat 1 and skip on 2 . Repeat the nodding again on beat 3 and 4. This part should begin when Michael Jackson starts to sing.
Turn to the side and put your arms out.This step should begin directly after the nodding on beat 4. Put one arm in front of you and one behind you. Your arms should be straightened. Then, bend your knees. Put your bottom out and wiggle it up and down. Next, take a step forward and wiggle.
Put your hands into claw-like forms.Your fingers should be outstretched, separated, and bent. Move your hand forward and then pull them back as if you were ripping through a bush. Repeat two times then switch the side you're clawing at.
Stand straight.Stand still and upright. Throw your head back and lean back a bit with one leg in front if you. Then, hop forward twice. Once you’ve hopped, bend your knees slightly, one leg out, with the other to the side. Put your hand on your belt. The other hand will be out straight to your side.
Bend over.Go down with your whole body. The reason it is called 'down ha!' is because when you come back up you make a face like you are yellingHa!Repeat this move four times.
Clap your hands over your head.Right after "down ha!" bring your hands up and clap them directly over your head. Clapping noises should be made in the music at this point. Bring them down slowly and drag your feet to one side. Shrug your shoulders and turn your head to the side. Repeat the move in the other direction.
Improvise during the pause.There will be an 8 count pause where you can do any zombie-like moves you want. Next, shake your hands in front of you. Do a disco pose with one hand up and one down.
- Pose and change position every two counts. You can put your “claws” up and pose, or do a disco pose.
- Choose a partner and dance together for the duration of the eight counts.
- Spend eight counts walking slowly and creepily to a new spot.
Walk forward for three counts.Put your “claws” out to the side start walking forward 3 counts. Then, turn to the other side and walk back. Now, you should be walking the direction you came from originally. Move for 3 counts.
Jump!Then bend over and try to touch your toes two times. Pause and pose for four counts, jump to the other side, and then repeat. Then, turn around and throw one hand over your head. Swivel your feet for a beat. Then bring your arm back up and bring it down, but this time it should stop and take 5 counts to make it down. Grab the air on one side of you then punch it four times on your other side.
Turn your head four times.Then, turn your body around with 6 steps until you are facing the other direction. Look behind you and slap your leg then take 10 steps backwards. You're trying to time this to exactly before the chorus starts for the second time in the song because that is where your next step comes in. Go slower or faster depending on how close you are to the chorus.
Getting the Look
Rip up some old clothes.Get very into the Thriller dance by dressing up like a zombie. First, look for some old clothes that you won’t wear anywhere. You can wear pants or a skirt and shirt. Or, you can wear a dress. The choice is yours. 1980s style clothing is ideal because that’s the decade Thriller came out. Use scissors or your hands to tear them up so that they look very old.
- You can find cheap clothes at a thrift shop if you don’t have any clothes you’re willing to rip up.
Make your hair untidy.A zombie will probably not have very neat hair. Run your fingers through your hair to make it very untidy. You can use a comb to tease your hair into different directions. Use hairspray to get the unkempt hairstyle to hold.
- Place a few leaves or twigs in your hair if you want step up the zombie-like appearance.
Wear zombie makeup.Your goal with your makeup is to make it look like you’ve been long dead and rotting. Wear very light foundation to give you a pale appearance. Use dark eye shadow or black eyeliner to create dark circles around your eyes. Apply more of the dark eye shadow to your cheeks to make them look gaunt. Next, take purple and reddish eye shadow and apply it to look like wounds around your face.
- You can buy fake wound kits at many costume stores.
- Wear zombie contacts for an extra creepy appearance.
Put on fake blood.A zombie costume is not complete without fake blood. Purchase fake blood from costume, or make it out of red food coloring, water, and corn syrup. Spread the blood on your face, arms, and legs if they are exposed. Pour it on your torn clothes, and pour a small amount into your hair. Make sure that the fake blood does not irritate your skin before putting a lot of it on your skin.
- Mix in some dirt into the blood to look extra dirty.
Performing the Dance
Gather a group of friends.Thriller is a dance best performed with a group of people. Get a group of friends together that are willing to learn the dance with you. You can get together as few or as many friends as you would like to do the Thriller. Learn the dance moves together and practice until everyone is confident in their memory of them.
- You can designate one person to act as Michael Jackson and be the lead.
Learn the lyrics to Thriller.You can sing or mouth the words as you perform. If you don’t want to sing, it is still good to learn the words in order to know when to perform your moves.
- You can choose to have the person acting as Michael Jackson to be the only one that sings the words.
Play the music.It is important to have the music playing as you perform. Purchase the song, or play it on a streaming service like YouTube or Spotify. You can set up a computer, or put out speakers to play the music. If you choose to sing, play the karaoke version of the song.
Perform at a party or event.Show off your hard work by performing the dance for other people. You can plan to break out in dance at a party, or plan to perform at an event. Make sure it okay to perform the dance at the place and time you choose.
- It is also an option to plan a Thriller flash mob.
QuestionHow can I get a group of friends to do this? Can I ask family?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOf course you can use your family! Choose some of your close friends and family members that aren't too shy and get going!Thanks!
QuestionHow will I know if Thriller is going to come on at a party?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can always ask the person who's playing the music if they are going to play Thriller, or you could request it. Listen to the opening of Thriller enough times that you will know it instantly when you hear it starting.Thanks!
- Take an extra step with the dance by acting out the non-dancing portions of the music video.
- Looking up videos will give you examples of how to perform the dance. Videos can also be used as an instructional tool.
Video: How to Do the "Thriller" Dance, Pt. 1 | MJ Dancing
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