Sunday, July 21

The latest TikTok trend has parents dancing like it’s the ’80s

TikTok may be adding a new skill to its resume: the disco time machine.

The social platform, normally populated by countless Gen Z dancers – mostly in short choreographed routines that have been practiced and perfected – has recently been infused with the energy of a surprising demographic: their Gen X parents.

In viral videos, adult children ask their parents to dance as they would to the 1984 song “Smalltown Boy,” by British synth-pop band Bronski Beat. Most of the posts are tagged #momdancechallenge, #daddancechallenge or #80sdancechallenge and have amassed tens of millions of views.

The reactions were perhaps unexpected, because instead of laughing, the videos are fantastic, truly fantastic, and act as a portal to another time: when dance was more often improvised and spontaneous, when people felt the rhythm and found it in their own way. organic, moving without the constraints of horizontal proportions.

When Valerie Martinez, 23, asked her mother, Yeanne Velazquez, 58, to participate, it was before the challenge went viral and they hadn’t prepared at all. “I hadn’t even played the song before her,” Martinez said in a phone interview this week alongside her mother. But Martinez was sure that Velazquez would give birth to her, because she is her mother Always dance, he said.