5 of the Best TikTok Dance Challenges—and How the App Is Changing the Dance World
TikTok seems tailor-made for dancers. The app's short-form video format makes it easy to show off your best moves to a song that's gone viral. And an algorithm that favors unknown users means up-and-coming dancers have a better chance of reaching a large audience than they might on Instagram or YouTube.
Dance challenges are especially popular on TikTok, with over one billion views for the hashtag #DanceChallenge alone. Even people who've never heard of the platform know about campaigns like #TheGitUpChallenge, which started on TikTok, spilled over into Instagram and YouTube, and ultimately helped propel musical artist Blanco Brown to stardom.
The growing trend has had a wide-ranging impact on both the music and dance communities. Rising rapper Ambjaay's song "Uno" went viral on TikTok this past summer thanks in part to the #UnoDanceChallenge. "It's given me more fans and a bigger fan base, and I've been able to build more relationships and meet more people," Ambjaay says. "Dance gave the song more room to grow and create a different way to have fun."
Here are five of the best, most influential TikTok dance challenges.
Uno Dance Challenge
Ambjaay used his viral moment to create opportunities for more artists with his #UnoDanceChallenge. The rapper teamed up with DanceOn to give aspiring pros a chance to win a spot in his next video by perfecting some short choreography to his single. He even continued the challenge on a local level by collaborating with NYC-based choreographer Jona Biddle to host an open workshop for kids wanting to get in on the fun.
Dip and Lean Challenge
The #DipAndLeanChallenge is basically a compilation of every viral dance you can think of (the Milly Rock, the Floss, the Dougie), set to rapper BlacKlout's "DIP & Lean." While the challenge was created by the Young Black Kings, who are featured on the song, it looks lit got its dance moves from Dragon House crew member Brandon "Bam" Morales. The challenge has already amassed over 300,000 views on TikTok, and BlacKlout has also started giving his favorites a shoutout on Instagram.
Hit Every Beat Challenge
"World of Dance" contestant James Derrick seems to be the originator of this tricky challenge, which focuses on isolated movements and musicality and has racked up more than 40 million views. While most TikTok dance challenges have a designated song, the beauty of the #HitEveryBeatChallenge is that you can use whatever beat you like.
Dance for Change
Dance challenges have become so popular that even the United Nations decided to get in on the trend, harnessing it to encourage global change. This past spring, the institution teamed up with choreographer Sherrie Silver and "Freedom" singer Mr Eazi to start the #DanceForChange challenge. Submissions were used as a virtual dance petition, calling on global leaders to increase funding for agriculture.
Kill This Love Challenge
OK, yes, K-pop girl group BLACKPINK had a huge following well before TikTok took off. But their choreographed routines were made to be watched on repeat and recreated at home. The TikTok reaction to their single "Kill This Love," featuring choreo by Kyle Hanagami, shows the other side of the dance challenge universe, in which a popular music video spawns multiple challenges. (We're not entirely sure if the TikTok #KillThisLoveChallenge inspired BLACKPINK's official YouTube challenge for the song, but we do know that we'll never get tired of watching submissions.)
Just hearing the word "improvisation" is enough to make some ballet dancers shake in their pointe shoes. But for Chantelle Pianetta, it's a practice she relishes. Depending on the weekend, you might find her gracing Bay Area stages as a principal with Menlowe Ballet or sweeping in awards at West Coast swing competitions.
She specializes in Jack and Jill events, which involve improvised swing dancing with an unexpected partner in front of a panel of judges. (Check her out in action below.) While sustaining her ballet career, over the past four years Pianetta has quickly risen from novice to champion level on the WCS international competition circuit.
Sean Dorsey was always going to be an activist. Growing up in a politically engaged, progressive family in Vancouver, British Columbia, "it was my heart's desire to create change in the world," he says. Far less certain was his future as a dancer.
Like many dancers, Dorsey fell in love with movement as a toddler. However, he didn't identify strongly with any particular gender growing up. Dorsey, who now identifies as trans, says, "I didn't see a single person like me anywhere in the modern dance world." The lack of trans role models and teachers, let alone all-gender studio facilities where he could feel safe and welcome, "meant that even in my wildest dreams, there was no room for that possibility."
It's hour three of an intense rehearsal, you're feeling mentally foggy and exhausted, and your stomach hurts. Did you know the culprit could be something as simple as dehydration?
Proper hydration helps maintain physical and mental function while you're dancing, and keeps your energy levels high. But with so many products on the market promising to help you rehydrate more effectively, how do you know when it's time to reach for more than water?