The world’s most impossible dance believed to have inspired Michael Jackson



Zaouli is a popular music and dance form in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, performed by the Guro community.

The dance involves moving legs and balancing the body with fast-moving legs. The dancer holds their body stationary while performing a variety of manoeuvres, it is so fast it can make spectators dizzy. The dancer does this intricate and fascinating foot movements while wearing flip-flops.

When a Zaouli mask is worn, the wearer is possessed by the spirit of the mask, which influences his actions. Only those who have received training may wear them because of this. Women are not allowed to do so. The dance is a tribute to feminine beauty; ironically, it is usually men who dance it.

It is also ironic that the dance was developed in the 1950s by a Guro girl named Djela Lou Zaouli. It is believed that by dancing at significant festivities and funerals, the village will experience wealth and unity. The dance is believed to convey societal messages.

The mask is also significant. In the Zaouli tradition, there are seven different kinds of masks. Wearing a Zaouli mask grants possession to the mask’s spirit, controlling movements.

It’s not an easy skill to learn. It often takes a performer seven years to hone their techniques. The dancer usually wears a striped bodysuit, raffia wrist, ankle bands, and a skirt. In addition to adorning their ankles with strung bells or seed pods, the dancers may also play horns and add frenzied drumming to the song.

It is thought to have served as the model for Michael Jackson‘s renowned dance routines, and in 2017, UNESCO added it to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Many people believe that many of Michael Jackson’s moves are eerily similar to those of the Zaouli dancers and even the leg work done by many other dancers. This may be unfounded and speculative, even though the moves are quite similar Michael Jackson said he was inspired by black street kids dancing. Other believe Michael Jackson was inspired by performers like Jeffrey Daniels, Shalamar and James Brown.

Just like music, perhaps dance is also universal.

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