Creating trendy dance challenges to go along with the hottest or underrated records is what TikTok is iconically known for. Nowadays, associating a popular song with a viral TikTok dance is the new norm.
However, unfortunately, most people do not associate the trending dance with the creator, leaving most to mistakenly discredit or not credit the creator behind the TikTok dance craze at all.
With the recent backlash of the famous TikToker, Addison Rae’s appearance on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, many TikTok lovers and others protested against people not giving them the creators credit where it is rightfully due.
Addison Rae has apologized for this, and the creators were given semi-acknowledgment in the description of the video. Yet, this is not enough for the TikTok creators and others following this matter.
Recently, late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon included a segment on his show to address this concern and gave spotlight to the originators of these iconic TikTok dances. Each creator, majority of them Black, gave a breakdown of their dance and how they came up with the concept.
Here’s more from three of the creators:
After seeing Jalaiah Harmon, the creator of the “Renegade” dance, being co-opted by famous TikTokers like Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae, Mya Johnson didn’t want the same to happen to her. Nevertheless, this did happen to the “Up” dance creator when her choreography was featured on The Tonight Show, and she wasn’t properly credited.
“I was very surprised because it’s like, ‘Wow, I made a dance that’s made it all the way to TV,’” she told PopSugar in an interview. “Of course, I was happy and everything.” But as Johnson thought about it more, the video didn’t sit right with her. “My mom always tells me, ‘When it’s my time, it’s my time.’ I felt like that should’ve been my time and Chris’s time, because we created the dance.”
Johnson has been creating choreography on social media since Musical.ly, which has now evolved into TikTok. The 15-year-old’s dance trend was reposted by the rapper of the song Cardi B and currently has over 7.9 million views on TikTok.
“This isn’t the first time this has happened, and I don’t want it to continue,” she continued in an exclusive with PopSugar. “I feel like it is very important for us to get our credit because we are very good creators that are very overlooked in what we do.”
Creator of an older TikTok craze, Indii’s Laffy Taffy (Remix) dance was trending on the app around the summertime – when mostly everyone was downloading TikTok due to numerous lockdowns nationwide regarding the pandemic. However, she, unfortunately, is another Black creator whose dance was mistakenly credited to another TikToker.
She has rebutted several times that she is the original creator of the video by showing old Dubsmash videos to the song that was roughly taken two years ago.
She has even commented recently on her Instagram on her not receiving dance credit from other TikTokers saying: “pls [please] stop playin w [with] me & @flyboyfu. Yaal know I made det [that] dance and tht la [that little] girl took my creds. like uhn.”
The creator behind one of the most popular TikTok dances, Keara Wilson, created the choreo for the song “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion. Some people did not give Wilson credit for the sensational dance, however unlike the others, many TikTok lovers were rooting for her to not get washed away in the TikTok tide.
“[When it comes to] white social media creators, I don’t know their inside story, but from the outside [looking in], it really seems like they’re maybe getting credit for what we/I have created,” Wilson said in an interview with The Root. “So, young black creators, we have to support each other and surround ourselves with positive people that know what they are talking about when it comes to this business because the window is open and we have to keep it pushin’ toward where we are trying to go.”
Since the March 2020 dance, Wilson has over 2.4 million followers on TikTok, verified on her social media accounts, featured in the Cosmopolitan, and has been reposted by Megan Thee Stallion for her viral dance.
By Kailyn Rhone, Tallahassee
This guest post is in partnership with YR Media.