In June, a group of friends filmed a TikTok video of themselves dancing to a slow-mo version of Stromae’s “Alors on Dans.”
Soon, the video became a viral sensation, surpassing 120 million views. It also became a trend as people began superimposing themselves dancing along with an achievement or goal.
The TikTok was posted by 19-year-old Usim E. Mang from Charlotte, North Carolina. He told BuzzFeed News he joined TikTok in March last year and usually posts dancing videos.
Mang said when his video hit 1 million views, he thought “nice, need em,” as it wasn’t the first time he had posted the video and danced to that same song.
“By the time it was at 50 million, I knew we really did something here – all of my friends are stoked and can’t believe it either, truly a blessing,” he said.
Mang said his friend Justin Planess had experimented with making TikTok dances before and came up with a dance for the song “Beatbox Remix” by Young M.A for a previous video. In that video, Planess added a little shoulder move.
“From that point on, that shoulder move was in almost every dance,” said Mang, “so we just incorporated that into it then went one way four times then turned and went the other way four times and it came out smooth.”
When the friends decided to make their next video, they ended up going with “Alors on Dance” because it was a simple sound with a smooth beat.
The video features Mang and five of his friends (Planess, AaronCantHoop, Akua, Tyler and Bryansanon).
People have been repeating the dance and editing themselves into the original video and writing on some text of something they’re proud of. Mang believes people giving their video their own spin is what made the trend so popular.
“What is making it go so viral is that people started their own trend on it, and dancing in front of the original video gives that video so much value,” he said.
He said some of his favorite videos are the goals that people would write in their edit of the video and dance in front of.
The video even led to backlash and drama for one former child star. The actor Lindsey Shaw, of Nickelodeon fame, stitched the viral video along with the words “hey are we okay, what the fuck is this?” Her comments led to backlash, and she was accused of mocking the Black dancers in the video. BuzzFeed News has reached out to representatives of Shaw for comment.
Most people were angry because it appeared to be a u-turn from her comment “Get It!” on former Ned's Declassified School Survival Guy costar Devon Werkheiser’s video where he hopped on the dance trend himself.
Shaw later apologized and has deleted her TikTok videos. In a tearful apology posted to her Instagram story, she said, “I did not mean anything in any kind of way. I am learning every day, as I think everybody is.”
Mang said he saw the drama surrounding Shaw’s video but wants to focus on the positive.
“I really don’t have much to say on that but she did make that video, and it was her actions that caused that backlash on her, so all I can do is stay in my lane and just spread positivity and love.”
Mang said their friends and family are excited to see all of it and where future opportunities will take them.