Rare footage of Michael Jackson practising iconic 'Billie Jean' routine in 1983 is incredible

22 June 2022, 17:12 | Updated: 13 February 2024, 15:18

Michael Jackson practising thee Moonwalk
Michael Jackson practising thee Moonwalk. Picture: YouTube/Motown

By Tom Eames

A video showing Michael Jackson preparing his iconic Moonwalk dance shows how dedicated he was to his craft.

Michael Jackson debuted his astonishing Moonwalk dance when performing 'Billie Jean' at the Motown 25th anniversary event in 1983, wowing the audience and millions around the world.

In this newly discovered footage, Michael is seen rehearsing for arguably the biggest moment of his career.

He is seen practicising his dance moves in what looks like a hotel room, trying out various different moves, all of which look amazing.

We particularly love his 'swimming in one spot' move, which is rather underrated in Michael's long list of routines.

Watch the clip below:

Never Before Seen Footage Of Michael Jackson Practicing His "Billie Jean" Routine In 1984 RARE

Comments on the YouTube clip include one fan stating: "He seems to defy gravity. Sometimes it looks like he's not even touching the floor."

Another wrote: "He moved like he had butter at the bottom of his feet." A third said: "The control he had over his body was phenomenal."

The King of Pop was taking part in the TV programme Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, filmed to celebrate the record label's greatest artists and saw a whopping 35% of all TV owners in the United States tuning in to see Michael and other stars perform.

Michael Jackson would later go on to discuss his own experience of his first moonwalk in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 1993 and said he 'cried' after the performance.

"I'm never satisfied," Michael Jackson said, "Even when I see something that I've done, and people say: 'Oh it was phenomenal'.

Michael Jackson - 'Man in the Mirror'

"When I did Motown 25, and I did the moonwalk for the first time, I was backstage crying afterwards because I was unhappy."

Oprah was stunned. "You cried!?" she said in disbelief.

"But then I was walking to the car there was this little boy who was like 12," Michael continued.

"He was this little Jewish kid and he said: 'You're amazing! Who taught you to dance like that?'"

"And for the first time I ever felt like I did a good job," he concluded.

"Because I know children don't lie, and I just felt so good about it."