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This Video Shows How ‘The Robot’ Became One of the Most Popular Dance Moves Ever

Remember when you were little and you saw some guy in the mall breakdancing to earn some bucks? Remember when he broke into the robot? Yeah, how could you forget? The first time you witness someone do the robot dance, it’s hard to peel your eyes away. It’s a human being transforming into something rigid, something that locks up and is still but still swings its arms like a rope moving back and forth. It’s totally entrancing. Best of all, anyone can do it. Some people can just do it really, really, really well. But when exactly did it first come into existence — and why are some people so good?

The fine folks over at Vox tracked down the history behind the iconic dance move to figure all of this out. In an informative, quick, just-over-three-minute video, they take us on an educational trip to the roots of the dance move and totally charm us in the process. The clip, titled “How ‘the robot’ became the greatest novelty dance of all time,” breaks down everything you need to know: where the term comes from, when it started, how it evolved, why it tricks our eyes, and more. Surprisingly, it didn’t originate a couple of decades ago. It started over a century ago. Yeah, you read that correctly: it started over 100 years ago.

Thanks to the video’s creators, Gina Barton and Phil Edwards, the whole thing is brilliantly edited and stuffed with entertaining graphics. Tiny robots have never been so cute (Sorry, WALL-E).

So, who’s ready for a dance off?

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HT: Laughing Squid

Image Credit: Vox

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