3/24 – “Wanna do a Tik Tok dance?”

There are a few things that I know for sure…
– I’m 23 years old
– I enjoy coffee
-I cannot dance

Both of my parents are lovely, however, I will forever be cursed by their lack of rhythm that was genetically transferred down to me. The way I move my body is similar to the way a wacky wavy inflatable tube person would dance. Nevertheless, this lack of talent in dance does not stop me from trying. Or dancing (very badly).

wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man | Tumblr
Actual photo of Sam dancing

The emergence of the app Tik Tok has created a new platform for people to sing, act, cook, and dance. In a format similar to Vine, a platform where users had to share content in 6-second video formats, Tik Tok gives users up to a minute to share their content, although the most popular time slot is 15 seconds.

Tik Tok – formerly known as Musically – was first targeted towards teenagers and kids. Before the comedy sketches and quotable videos that we see now (similar to Vine) – Dance trends were the biggest part of the Tik Tok experience. I’m not going to lie, when my roommate first started watching Tik Toks, I would discount the entire app because of the condescending impression that I had of the demographic. I thought to myself: Tik tok was just full of teenagers and children doing silly dances – why would I be interested in that?

And then I got hooked (and so did most of the world! Including celebrities)

After much reflection, these are my current thoughts on Tik Tok…

  • Dance trends are a cool way to bring communities of people (of every age!) and make them feel included. There is something satisfying about participating – but also adding a personal twist. Sometimes those twists catch on along the chain, and people around the world could be inspired by your dance!
  • Internalized misogyny can make people look down upon teenaged girls for dressing up and doing dance trends – because most of the world does the same thing! Activities that range from beauty, dance, and fashion – are often seen as less important and not as talented or valid as activities that are centred around the male gaze.
  • It’s nice seeing boys do fun/silly dance trends – I think 10 years ago, the boys in my class wouldn’t be caught dead doing something like this because they would think they’re too cool for it, so having kids and teens let go of the notion that they’re too cool for certain things is refreshing!
  • Finally – kids are smart. There are lots of adults my age on here as well, but I just gotta say – kids are SMART! and FUNNY! Browsing this app and having the generation below me make me laugh out loud has given me hope! I always knew kids were brilliant, but this app really sealed the notion for me. The kids are all right.

So, that being said… I’m stuck in my apartment for quarantine reasons (#CODVI19)… i’m with my super fun roommate who sends Tik Toks to me every 5 minutes… we need a way to get some exercise… hmmmm

We decide to learn Tik Tok dances.

Now my roommate is a great dancer. She loves to dance. She used to dance as a kid. So when we would watch a Tik Tok dance, she would flawlessly pick it up no problem. Meanwhile? I’m over here needing her to take it apart step by step by step by step. Over and over. In the beginning, i’m optimistic, then when I actually try to do the dance for the first time – I typically say something along the lines of “There’s no way in heck that I’m ever going to learn this. There’s no way.” 30-60 minutes of practice later and 10 attempts at the actual video in its entirety? We end up pulling through!

While I still think I had the dance skills of a string bean, there’s something satisfying about learning a dance routine and making it your own!! I hope you enjoyed these cringy videos of me dancing, and are inspired to try it out on your own! The worst that will happen? You’ll have fun trying!!

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