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Moonwalk dance

First moonwalk dance was in the 1980s

First moonwalk dance was the 1930s

When was the first Moonwalk dance recorded?

Michael Jackson and the Moonwalk dance go together like Laurel and Hardy, Burgers and Coke or even Steve Jobs and Apple. Almost everyone assumes Jackson invented the dance, just because they'd never heard of or seen it before he brought it to the mainstream. In fact, it turns out this is wrong by quite a margin, since all he did was give an old move a new name.

So technically Jackson was the first if you ask "who first did the moonwalk?" and you strictly mean the dance with that name. There's even a date for that: 25th March, 1983 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, but he wasn't the first to perform the actual move itself.

Jeffrey Daniel

The popular story regarding how Jackson came abut to do the moonwalk is that he saw Jeffrey Daniel doing it on Soul Train and asked his manager to contact the show to introduce him to him. Daniel called it the "backslide",  and after working with Jackson on it for a while made the move his signature.

Cab Calloway

However, the origins of the move go back further than Daniel. In the 1932 Cab Calloway performed it, and his term for it back then was "The Buzz". In the 1943 Bill Bailey became the first to perform it on camera in the movie The Cabin in the Sky. Later it was performed in the 1940's by Judy Garland in Meet me in St Louis, and in 1950 Dick Van Dyke did it in "Mailing A Letter On A Windy Corner". In the 1960's it was done by David Ruffin on American Bandstand.

The first time the name "moonwalk"  was used was in 1969. This was in an episode of HR Pufnstuf, which is also the subject of a different Mandela Effect, when Judy (the frog) showed it to everyone, using the new name for the move.