Jess Lloyd and Lindsay Willis-Wood of Universal Dance pictured with choreographer, singer and dancer Jeffrey Daniel

Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk teacher comes to Uckfield

The man who taught Michael Jackson the Moonwalk came to Uckfield this week to work with youngsters from Universal Dance.

Jeffrey Daniel taught locking and popping steps, the famous Smooth Criminal Lean – he choreographed the video for Michael Jackson who leaned at the seemingly impossible angle of 45 degrees – and Back Slide aka the Moonwalk.

The street dance legend helped pioneer these steps around the world with the likes of the Electric Boogaloos, but he came to fame as a founding member of Shalamar, clocking up 25 million record sales with the group.

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Jeffrey Daniel works with students from Universal Dance.

Awestruck

Lindsay Willis-Wood, of Universal Dance, said the workshop, held at The Cinque Ports Club on Monday, was the highlight of her career. “Jeffrey was so humble, kind and considerate of our students.” The students themselves were awestruck by his knowledge and experience.

Jeffrey led a question and answer session and his audience heard stories about New York, Los Angeles and London in the 80s and all about Street Dance culture.

He finished the night with a giant Soul Train line – Jeffrey was a back-up dancer on the 70s TV show – which everybody, including parents, loved.

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Jeffrey Daniel signed T-shirts, old LPs and even a shoe when he came to a workshop in Uckfield organised by Universal Dance.

Old LPs

He signed old LPs, pictures, T-shirts, and even a shoe belonging to Lindsay’s daughter.

Lindsay said: “It was, and always will be, a night to remember. Huge thanks to Sue at the Cinque Ports for helping the night run smoothly too – she even got a spin around the floor with Jeffrey.”

The choreographer, singer and dancer – who went to Hartfields before the workshop and enjoyed seeing Uckfield – said Universal Dance was doing a great job in keeping authentic street dance culture alive for the next generation and their students were full of energy.

Lindsay said: “I’m still on cloud 9 and keep pinching myself, especially because he asked to swap numbers so we could keep in touch and swap photos.”

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