Thriller Zombie Line Dance How To

Zombies are a fad to die for. Since the release of Zombieland, Reinke Costumes in Littleton has hosted the only family friendly Zombie Crawl at high noon of the first Saturday of October. I have had the privilege of teaching the Thriller line dance to the undead since then.

Zombie films in Thriller

Thriller gives a hat tip to many modern zombie films from the 50’s & 60’s. Mr. Jackson’s makeup lightly mimics the skull from “Phantom of the Opera.” The zombies were inspired by “Night of the Living Dead.” Lastly, his glowing eyes capturing the werewolf in “The Company of Wolves.” Zombies are a powerful influence in modern culture today.

History of zombies

Tales of the dead arising date back to antiquity. From the dawn of time cultures have protected themselves from the dead rising. Why do you think there are fences around graveyards? It is to keep the dead in the grave.

Dead rise in the Bible

The Bible talks often about people rising from the grave. Both New and Old Testament prophesy talk about the dead coming to life. Ezekiel cried, them dry bones! The bones start to shake and become covered with muscle and flesh until they’re reanimated yet “there was no breath in them.” The book of Isaiah states, “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.” No wonder zombies are associated with the apocalypse.

Hold down the dead in Greece

Greeks were afraid of their dead rising. Dead men don’t tell tails, but their bones do. They buried their dead with heavy stones over the bodies to keep them in the grave. This is the origin of headstones in graveyards.

Zombies out of Africa

The word Zombie may have come from the African word “nzambi” which was a snake god, and later came to mean “reanimated corpse.” Voodoo had a hand in reanimating corpses as well. The voodoo master called Bokor could make a power that emulated death. This was like the potion used in Romeo and Juliet, where the body stilled like death, and when it wore off, the person would come back to life.

Thriller line dance

So now you know about the history of zombies in thriller, now you can learn some of the iconic dance moves from the music video. Don’t Let learning to dance scare you. Have fun learning this Thriller inspired line dance taught at the Littleton Zombie crawl.

Thriller Line Dance How To

Begin by rising aimlessly from the dead.

1 Zombie March with Head tick:

Zombie march forward for 8 counts right, left. With arms hanging limply at your side head tick to right on count 1, 5 & 7. Repeat.

2 Rigamortus:

Step side with your right foot with right arm to side and left arm forward then hip pulse 1,2. Close your feet 3,4. Repeat for 5,6,7,8.

3 Swim & Roar:

Step side, close side tap,(right, left, right, left tap) as arms swim in and out for count 1,2,3 ending on 4 with hands up like a Zombie grab. Repeat to the left for 5,6,7,8.

4 Hip Pop

Step side right hip up & 1,2. Step side right hip down & 3,4. Turn ½ turn to left hip pulse up down snapping in opposition 5,6,7,8.

5 Down up shoulder shimmy

Step side Left foot bending down count 1. Close right foot to left foot bringing hands above head to clap count 2. Step side left foot shimmy shoulders up down for counts 3, &,4, &. Close right foot to left foot count 5,6. Shoulders shrug up down &,7. Head turn right, forward count &,8. Repeat on the opposite side.

6 Zombie Roar

Begin with left foot in the air hands to left count 1,2. Walk forward left, right foe counts 3,4. Swing hands in front 5,6. Swing up to right with right foot in air 7,8. Repeat to right side for counts 1-6. Count 7,8 make an arm circle

7 Zombie hunch

 Jump down into a deep plie or sumo squat hands on knees count 1,2. Right foot pivots around left foot for count 3-4,5-6. On 7-8 look back over your right shoulder. Repeat for 8 more counts. On 7-8 stand up to repeat from the Zombie March. Continue repeating these sequences until the end of the song.

Location and Song

Filmed at Adventures in dance. Background photos from the Littleton Cemetery, home of Alfred Packard, the Colorado cannibal. Instruction by Holly Tomazin. Song, Thriller tango Tony Evans.

Holly Tomazin
WEDDING DANCE instruction
Certified Licentiate in
Ballroom, Latin, Smooth & Rhythm
with ISTD, DIVDA, FADS, & Arthur Murrary’s
author of
Holly’s hot wedding tips, 
Historically Accurate Princess Dances,
Winner of:
The Knot Hall of Fame best wedding dance instruction,
top 50 Dance Blogs
Champion Ballroom Dancer & Coach

owner of
Adventures in Dance