While performing his famous hit “Billie Jean” at the Motown’s 25th anniversary live show in 1983, pop king Michael Jackson interpreted what would become his quintessential dance movement: the moonwalk. This famous movement, in which the dancer seems to be walking forward while sliding backwards, has been associated with Michael Jackson from that day.
However, although Jackson certainly made the move famous, he did not invent it. Interpreters have been using it for many years.
Originally known as backslide, this movement was previously used by African-American tap dancer Bill Bailey in his dance number in the 1950s. Famous mimes, including Marcel Marceau, also used the movement. in their routines, and stars like James Brown and Bill Robinson have done it years before Jackson.
In fact, Jackson had learned from two young dancers, Casper Candidate and Cooley Jaxson, who had starred in their Boogaloo issue featured in Soul Train in the 1970s. Although the King of Pop certainly deserves recognition to have presented the moonwalk to the masses, this iconic operation was performed for the first time long before Jackson became a wink in the eyes of his nasty father.