How to be awesome at the "Thriller" dance

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

This Saturday marks the third-annual Thrill the World day, an effort to create global unity through Michael Jackson's "Thriller." At a set time (2 p.m. EST), people everywhere are encouraged to mimic Jackson's creepy music video moves on their own or at one of the 100 official events in 96 cities internationally, including Dayton. Whether you're solo or gathering a group, here are a few moves to get you started.

1. Forward march

Start by shambling with purpose, doing a zombie walk forward in time with the beat. With each step, jerk your head toward your right shoulder.

2. Side step

As you turn your body to the left, swing right arm straight behind you and left arm straight in front of you. Side step for four beats, rocking your pelvis back and forth slightly. Then make your side steps longer and more straightforward for two beats.

Put both arms slightly forward, bent so that hands are together at waist level with fingers spread out toward each other, and as you advance each time, move them apart (like "jazz hands"). Turn to your right and repeat the forward moves of the last two beats facing the other direction. Throw your head back with each step forward.

3. Downward slide

Turn your body into a straight line, arms up over your head with a clap. Drop to the beat, keeping torso straight, bending left leg and extending right leg straight to the side. As you drag the right leg toward the left leg until you're standing straight again, place hands on thighs, straighten shoulders and move your head left and right (this part can be a little tough).

4. Claws up

With torso facing forward, turn head and legs to the right. Keeping them close to your body, bend arms so hands are up around your chin. Bend hands in a claw-like position, also facing right. March three steps in double-time to the beat. On your fourth step, turn everything facing right to the left, then back to the right, then to the left again. Repeat moves in the opposite direction.

5. Seek visual aids

For the rest of the moves and how to put them all together, check out the instructional videos at You'll find the original "Thriller" video on YouTube.