A Parents' Guide to Viral TikTok Dances

If you're the parent of a tween or teen, you already know TikTok is huge. We got the scoop on the app's viral dance challenges—and how you can recreate them yourself.

TikTok continues to be one of the most popular apps among teens, boasting about 60 million monthly active users in the United States, according to social media advertising agency Wallaroo, 60 percent of whom are between the ages of 16-24. Although you can find everything from lip-syncing and comedy, to memes and money tips on the app, one of kids' favorite TikTok pastimes is creating or recreating viral dances. In fact, these dances are behind the skyrocketing fame of TikTok stars like Charli D'Amelio, Addison Rae Easterling, and Haley Sharpe, who've built massive followings and frequently post dance clips.

family using phone to record video
MilosBataveljic/Getty Images

Here, a parent's guide to those smooth moves the TikTok kids—and even mainstream celebs—are obsessed with.

The Origin of Popular TikTok Dances

While some TikTok dances have a clear originator, others are hazier. Case in point: The most popular dance on TikTok, "Renegade," was performed by a dancer with more than 328K followers—@global.jones—back in October, but it was actually created by a 14-year-old in Atlanta named Jalaiah Harmon. She and her friend Kaliyah Davis performed the moves (like the woah, the wave, and the dab) to the song "Lottery" by Atlanta rapper K-Camp in an Instagram video in September. But it wasn't until recently that Harmon received credit for the dance.

Other popular dances include Blanco Brown's "The Git Up," D1 Nayah's "Holy Moly Donut Shop," the "Mmmxneil," "Cookie Shop," and Nicole Bloomgarden's "Out West," which "come from young black creators on myriad smaller apps," notes The New York Times. Those smaller apps include Dubsmash, Funimate, ‎Likee, and Triller, all of which can be used to create videos that are then posted across social media platforms.

In fact, Yahoo Lifestyle recently pointed out that "when it comes to viral dance videos, there seems to be a parallel universe, based largely on race, in which white kids dominate on TikTok while everyone else seems partial to a 2014 app that actually predates TikTok: Dubsmash."

  • RELATED: 'OK Boomer': Everything You Need to Know About the Phrase That Has Gen Z in Their Feelings

Alternatively, TikTok users who've already amassed a following have created and posted dance clips to the app, which often takes their fame on the app to the next level. This was also the case for Haley Sharpe, whose dance to Doja Cat's "Say So" solidified her fame on the app. Videos associated with the hashtag #SaySo have been viewed more than 346 million times, and the hashtag #SaySoChallenge has received more than 138 million views.

Meanwhile, other dances stem from mainstream artists all over the globe. For instance, last year, K-pop girl group Blackpink inspired TikTok users to recreate the choreography to their hit "Kill This Love."

Celebs Are Jumping on the TikTok Dance Bandwagon

Teens who've skyrocketed to fame on TikTok aren't the only ones documenting their moves. Mainstream celebs (and parents) like Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, and Busy Philipps have recently taken to the app to share dance videos.

How to Learn TikTok Dances

If, like Jessica, Busy, and Kim, you want to join your kid on camera—or just have an impromptu dance party at home—the good news is that there are just as many choreography lessons online as there are viral TikTok clips.

Head over to YouTube, where tutorials for the latest TikTok dance crazes—created by everyone from dance pros to the choreography originators themselves—are popping up all the time.

Who knows? It might only be a matter of time before you post a viral TikTok dance challenge of your own.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles