She trains in all the traditional ways, taking classes in hip-hop, ballet, lyrical, jazz, tumbling and tap after school at a dance studio near her home in the Atlanta suburbs. She is also building a career online, studying viral dances, collaborating with peers and posting original choreography.
Recently, a sequence of hers turned into one of the most viral dances online: the Renegade. Teenagers are doing the dance in the halls of high schools, at pep rallies and across the internet. Some of the latest from Taylor Lorenz :. TikTok, one of the biggest video apps in the world, has become synonymous with dance culture. Yet many of its most popular dances, including the Renegade, Holy Moly Donut Shop, the Mmmxneil and Cookie Shop have come from young black creators on myriad smaller apps.
Most of these dancers identify as Dubsmashers. They then post or cross-post the videos to Instagram, where they can reach a wider audience. Though Jalaiah is very much a suburban kid herself — she lives in a picturesque home on a quiet street outside of Atlanta — she is part of the young, cutting-edge dance community online that more mainstream influencers co-opt. The Renegade dance followed this exact path. On Sept. She filmed herself and posted it , first to Funimate where she has more than 1, followers and then to her more than 20, followers on Instagram with a side-by-side shot of Kaliyah and her performing it together.
In October, a user named global. None gave Jalaiah credit. After long days in the ninth grade and between dance classes, Jalaiah tried to get the word out. She hopped in the comments of several videos, asking influencers to tag her. For the most part she was ridiculed or ignored. To be robbed of credit on TikTok is to be robbed of real opportunities.
In , virality means income: Creators of popular dances, like the Backpack Kid or Shiggy , often amass large online followings and become influencers themselves. That, in turn, opens the door to brand deals, media opportunities and, most important for Jalaiah, introductions to those in the professional dance and choreography community. But credit and attention are valuable even without legal ownership.
Cross-platform sharing — of dances, of memes, of information — is how things are made on the internet. Popular tweets go viral on Instagram, videos made on Instagram make their way onto YouTube.
But in recent years, several large Instagram meme accounts have faced backlash for sharing jokes that went viral without crediting the creator. TikTok was introduced in the United States only a year and a half ago. Norms, particularly around credit, are still being established. It has set up a culture clash between the two influencer communities.
On Jan. TikTok Room , a gossip account on Instagram, picked up the controversy, and spurred a sea of comments. And the creators who are flooding into TikTok from Instagram and Dubsmash are leading the way by example. That person who made that dance, they might be a fan of ours.
Us tagging them makes their day. Harmon said. Just make another one. Jalaiah continues to post a steady stream of dance videos to Funimate, Dubsmash, and Instagram. Instead, she hopes she can collaborate with her one day. Off the internet, she continues to compete in dance competitions with her studio and hopes to one day take classes at Dance , a prestigious dance school in Atlanta. Style The Original Renegade.
The Viral Dance-iearchy TikTok, one of the biggest video apps in the world, has become synonymous with dance culture. Home Page World U.