Michael Jackson’s dancing was legendary, Bob Fosse was one of the greatest of all time, having won Oscar, Emmy and a Tony awards.

But John W. Bubbles was the man who started it all and invented many of the moves that Michael and Bob used decades later.

An American tap dancer, vaudevillian, movie actor, and television performer, known as the father of “rhythm tap,” Bubbles (real name John William Sublett) was the first black man to be broadcast on TV. Together with partner Buck Washington, he performed a vaudeville act in the 1920s. He went on to act in movies for several decades thereafter.

See some of his work in the videos below. You may not believe this is overly complex compared to what you see today, but remember he was the first, he was the guy who invented the wheel from a dance perspective.