For the past few months, there’s been a bit of an uproar about the lack of credit given to the creators of TikTok dances by those making them popular. Even worse, it tends to be Black choreographers being overshadowed by white TikTokers — influencers who’ve amassed millions of followers for doing the dances made by others.
Recently dubbed the #BlackTikTokStrike (a hashtag that has over 4 million views on the app), the movement has garnered coverage from NPR, CNN and The New York Times, among others. By participating in it, Black creators have refused to choreograph new dances until they receive credit for the trends they essentially created.
This issue first gained traction back in March when TikTok star Addison Rae was a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where she performed popular TikTok dances live. It received quite a bit of backlash for the lack of credit (or even acknowledgement) given to the choreographers behind the dances.
In response, Fallon then invited the creators of the dances onto his following show where they performed their dances and answered questions about seeing their dances gain popularity. Still, this is one of very few times creators have been credited for their work on TikTok.
Even now, dances made by people of color before the strike began still aren’t being properly credited by the influencers using them. In order to spread awareness and help to give credit where it is due, VALLEY has compiled a list of dances that are popular on TikTok right now, along with their original creators, so you can know who to credit when you post next!
To start off the list, Tracy Joseph — whose user is @tracy.oj — made a dance to DaBaby’s “Ball If I Want To.” While the song itself has almost 200,000 videos, Joseph made it her own sound after creating the dance. Now anybody clicking on the 25,000 videos under that sound can see her name at the top of it, essentially crediting herself if others fail to do so.
This isn’t the first trending dance that Joseph has created and she’s amassed her own following because of it. She is also behind the dance to “Bundles” (feat. Taylor Girlz) by Kayla Nicole, which has almost a million videos under Joseph’s sound.
Another dance going around right now is to a slowed version of the song “Lights Down Low” by Bei Maejor. While the sound only has 15,000, the dance has been done by some of the biggest white influencers on the app, many of whom did not give credit to its creator, @evan.stewartt.
Those same white influencers have been using the song “Rich” by Big Yavo recently, and while the original choreography has a bit of ambiguity, it seems that the earliest use of the dance under that song was by the user @bxddy.malkah, who has not been credited.
“Bills Bills Bills” by Destiny’s Child was first popularized by @pjcooltomasi on his second account, @inmypjss. Now, there’s a newer dance gaining traction that was made by @jerissad, who actually has started to get credit from the white influencers using his dance.
Another popular dance going around is to the song “Anti-Romantic” by the K-pop band Tomorrow X Together, also known as TXT. Created by the user @yutasbestie, who explained that she made the dance as a joke, originally intending to “make fun of people” on a more “basic” side of the app.
Ending the list is Lesley Gonzalez — under the user @yodamnmomma — who, while not part of the Black community currently striking on TikTok, is the creator behind the wildly popular “Tap In” and “Candy Shop” dances, among others. She has been creating some of the most popular dances on TikTok for the past year, and her newest one is to “My X” by Rae Sremmurd, with Swae Lee even commenting on her original dance video! The song has over a million videos on TikTok, and many of the videos are still white influencers using Gonzalez’s dance.
Whether you have three million followers or three hundred, it’s important to give credit to the creators who are behind the biggest trends on TikTok. Next time you post your rendition of one of their dances, be sure to give dance credits and don’t forget to tag us, @VALLEYmag, on Tiktok.