During a retrospective on what life was like when he was a student at Columbia College, a sister school of Barnard's, Obama reminisced about events and pop culture at the time, including Michael Jackson's mooonwalk.
"The year I graduated was 1983 — the first year women were admitted to Columbia, Sally Ride was the first American women in space, music was all about Michael and the moonwalk," said Obama.
The president began to reflect on the Walkman vs. iPod, when he was interrupted with shouts of "do it!" followed by laughter from the crowd.
The dance request got Obama laughing too, and caused him to wave his hand in protest. "No moonwalking, no moonwalking today," he said.
Obama moved on to a potentially less embarrassing topic, telling the students that for all the differences of the times, the class of 1983 had "a lot in common" with this year's graduates.
"For we too were heading out into a world at a moment when our country was still recovering from a particularly severe economic recession, it was a time of change, it was a time of uncertainty, it was a time of passionate political debates," Obama said.
Read more on Obama's commencement speech at Barnard.