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An Interrupted Nap and “The Lean”

Folks from my parents’ generation can recall exactly where they were when they heard that JFK was assassinated.

I thought that the equivalent in my generation was the tragic passing of Princess Diana, but now we have another.

I was taking my afternoon nap (I’ve been sleeping so poorly at night that I’ve resorted to taking power naps throughout the day) when J burst through the door. The first words out of his mouth were, “Did you hear? Michael Jackson died.”

“No he didn’t.”

“I’m serious. Look at your Twitter feed. Turn on the TV.”

I groggily flipped open my laptop and waited for Twhirl to load my latest Tweets as J flipped on the television.

Rest in peace, King of Pop.

There is no denying that my favorite MJ dance is the “Thriller” zombie dance. However, “The Lean” from “Smooth Criminal” has always fascinated me…

Is it wires? Impeccable balance?

Today, Gizmodo explained the secret behind “The Lean”…it’s all in the shoes!

Trying to lean beyond one’s center of gravity normally leads to a giant, awkward step forward to retain balance, so to achieve the 45-degree angle he wanted, Michael and his dancers used special shoes as well as a trick in the stage floor. When the time came for the move, a peg-like aperture would protrude from the dance floor. The heel of the dancers’ shoes featured a triangular cut out that could be hitched onto the peg, anchoring the dancers to lean much farther forward, and thus blowing the world’s collective mind.

Now why didn’t I think of that?

You will be missed, MJ.