I have been on TikTok since 2019 and I have to say, the dance scene over there is pretty awesome. There’s everything from short simple dances that everyone can join in with, to more difficult choreographies performed by professional dancers.
Recently I’ve seen a few experienced dancers expressing their frustration about “boring easy” TikTok dances getting millions of views but freestyle videos by professionals only having a few hundred. I’m sure that for them, who seem to have years of experience in various styles, the TikTok dances might be underwhelming indeed, but that’s not the case for the majority.
Many simple TikTok dances go viral and they do so for good reasons. People look at these dances and think “that’s not too hard, I could do that”. They’re inclusive, relatable and fun. Even when some moves are harder to nail for those with less experience, they still spend time learning them because the choreographies are short and they’re motivated to get over the harder parts. I can imagine them thinking “if I just learn this difficult move, then the rest is easy.”
In addition to the choreographies being easy and accessible, they don’t need to be filmed in fancy locations. Whatever room in your house has space, works. Many videos don’t even show from below the knee because feet don’t fit in the frame and that’s widely accepted. What matters is that the dancer enjoys themselves.
And you know what? I like all of that so much and think it’s such a positive thing. Dance is for everyone, not only for a chosen elite. TikTok is a good reminder of the fact that dance is an integral part of human experience, it’s THE most natural thing to hear music and start moving your body to it. “Humans dance because dance is human.” You don’t need to be “good” at dancing to do it. Therefore there is absolutely no shame in learning simple choreographies or just freestyling.
The worst that could happen is that you don’t dance at all. It might be that you are so afraid of looking stupid that it stops you from expressing yourself. It might be that you find it so hard to accept yourself as you are that you don’t even want to dance alone in your room. I know many dance students who have said they cannot look themselves in the mirror when dancing because it’s too cringe. This makes me very sad.
I hope that someday we will all adopt the mindset that has survived in the latin cultures – that dance truly is for everyone, no matter the skills, age, gender or size.