How to moonwalk, a guide for the rhythm-deprived


The one thing that might rival cat videos on the web is the number of charts, graphs, pictures, videos and Vulcan mind-melds explaining how to moonwalk.

Especially hapless would-be dancers: this animated infographic is for you.

Jacob O’Neal is a Portland-based graphic designer whose animagraffs have been sweeping the web. He’s transformed normally flat infographics by adding GIFs that make the whole thing resemble something out of the “Daily Prophet.”

O’Neal possesses a natural curiosity that leads him to break down all sorts of complicated engineering, like the inner workings of an internal combustion engine, or a handgun. When he’s got to do research, it can take anywhere from 40-60 hours to finish an animagraff. However, the moonwalk animagraff was all him: he used to breakdance in high school, he said.

“I just have an itch I need to scratch and produce things that I don’t see out in the world,” O’Neal told the Post in a phone interview. “I want to put something out there that doesn’t have a sales-y message, something that you can’t fake. The second you see it, you know that there’s no corporation behind it that people can benefit from and there’s no ulterior motive behind it.”

O’Neal, who dropped out of college after a year — it was a lot of busywork, he said — likes learning just for learning’s sake. “It’s like a visual Wikipedia, it’s fun to look at,” O’Neal said. “People get a lot of entertainment from it. I haven’t pulled any punches. I’m treating people like they’re smart.”

Behold, our library of moonwalking:




Bill Bailey 1955

Dave Bowie

 



Debbie Allen Fame

 



Michael Jackson-Billie Jean

 



Usher

 



Janelle Monae

 

Even though Michael Jackson made the moonwalk iconic, it’s actually about 85 years old, according to NowThis News. Check it:

Soraya Nadia McDonald covers arts, entertainment and culture for the Washington Post with a focus on race and gender issues.

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Terrence McCoy · March 25, 2014