Michael Jackson: The Legend Who Inspired Dancers

Once in a while, a legend is born among us that has the power to touch the heart of millions of people. As Elvis Presley was the King of Rock’n’Roll, Michael Jackson was the King of Pop. The truth of the matter is that these two legends were more than just Kings of a certain style of music. They inspired people to create beautiful things. They were entertainers, artists, dancers and they changed history.

Here, we’ll focus on how Michael Jackson put his footprint ( no pun intended 🙂 ) on ballroom dancing, and especially on latin dancers.

Michael Jackson – An Inspiration For Champions 

We know by now that Michael Jackson inspired many R&B and Pop singers, but we have to be aware of the fact that he was also a divine dancer and one of a kind, at that. Many dancers even started their career because they wanted to dance like Michael Jackson. Let’s discover together what did dancesport champions “stole” from him!

Donnie Burns – the technique 

Donnie Burns MBE, one of the greatest champions of our beautiful dancesport world! He inspired so many dancers and is one of the most sought-after teachers at the moment.

Ok, but who inspired Donnie then? Well, besides his teacher – the great Walter Laird – Michael Jackson definitely had an impact on his artistry. Being a perfectionist, Donnie would analyze Michael’s movements.

He introduced Michael Jackson’s style of spins. Also, you can see his influence on the way Donnie did his lines, footwork and arm movements. And obviously, let’s not forget the attire. Here, have a look and see if you spot Michael Jackson’s influence:


Sergey Ryupin – the charisma 

I remember I was at my first Blackpool Dance Festival Congress, in 2013. The amount of high-quality information was fascinating. Nevertheless, Sergey Ryupin’s lecture stood out as he discussed charisma and the connection with the public.

He fondly remembered the concert Michael Jackson held in Bucharest, Romania, as one of the most powerful moments between an artist and the crowd. He said that for him that was a prime example of how dancers need to allure the public into their world when they perform. That’s what Michael Jackson was doing.

Marius-Andrei Balan – the choreography 

Marius Balan and Khrystyna Moshenska are currently ranked second in the WDSF Ranking, being one on the most popular WDSF Amateur latin couples at the moment. They are characterized by expressiveness, drive, and desire to maintain the true specificity of latin dances.

In the interview we had with this amazing couple (click here to listen to it) Marius shared with us how much Michael Jackson inspired him.

When he was a small child of only 7 years old, he was dancing until midnight in his room on Michael Jackson’s songs. That is one of the reasons his parents sent him to dance lessons. There, Marius was trying to combine the cha-cha steps with Michael Jackson’s steps and the teachers were thrilled! He’s still using the steps now, as a top finalist!

Marius also shared with us his memory of the famous concert Michael Jackson had in Bucharest in 1992. The same concert that made a huge impact on Sergey Ryupin had a powerful effect on Marius:

“the way he entertained, what he brought to the masses of people…”
Marius-Andrei Balan
2nd WDSF Amateur Latin

Legends Will Create Legends 

As artists, ballroom dancers will forever be inspired by anything that offers powerful emotions, that is aesthetically pleasing or is just out of the ordinary. Being inspired by great artists will only enable you to create beautiful pieces of dance. The secret is to create your own style that people will remember you for!

What about you? Who inspires you the most in your dancing style?


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I've started dancing when I was 9 years old and it has been a part of me ever since. I love to surround myself with everything dancesport related. Now I get to experience the world of dancing through a writer's lens.

Tags: dancesport inspiration King of Pop legend

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