Leah Greenblatt
July 13, 2009 AT 09:13 PM EDT

Though millions thought they were seeing it for the first time when Michael took those four (only four!) liquid steps on Motown’s 25th Anniversary Special back in 1983, the Moonwalk actually has a long and storied history in dance.

Watch this YouTube clip below, which distills the evolution of the move from archived clips of the last century, including platinum-level fancy-footers Fred Astaire, Sammy Davis Jr., and Bill Bailey, then see Michael carry on the legacy — and take it iconically next-level — when he debuted it in ’83 (if you want to see just that, skip ahead to about 3:38, and again at 4:30):

How many of you spent countless hours on rec-room carpets and parqueted kitchen floors attempting to replicate those steps with just one sequined-sock percent of MJ’s dazzling ability? And how many of you succeeded?

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Live Aid 1985 photo gallery: What’s your favorite?
So You Think You Can Dance top-12 stomp to the White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”; What’s next?
Which city has inspired the best songs?
Michael Jackson talks Bad, price of fame in unreleased 1987 interview
Michael Jackson: The truth about his “final” photo shoot

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