Girl behind Renegade TikTok dance reclaims spotlight at NBA All-Star Game

Published 2020-02-18 15:56

After backlash on Twitter, teen given opportunity to perform

Have you tried your own version of TikTok’s Renegade dance recently?

Before you recorded it, did you think about where it all started?

You may be surprised to hear that the dance craze was started by a 14-year-old named Jalaiah Harmon from Fayetteville, GA. 

And at this past Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game, she finally got to show off her moves live in front of millions of viewers.

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The dance, which went viral on TikTok in September, has been performed by celebrities like Lizzo and Kourtney Kardashian.

But the dance didn’t actually start on TikTok.

Last week, Jalaiah told the New York Times that she originally posted a video of her and her friend performing the dance on Funimate — a smaller video-sharing app — as well as Instagram.

She said she was upset when she started seeing so many mainstream influencers co-opting her dance without giving her credit.

On Friday, Jalaiah was finally given some props after K Camp, the musician who performs Renegade, thanked Jalaiah for popularizing the song.

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But then during Saturday night’s All-Star slam dunk contest, a group of TikTok stars was brought onto centre court to perform the dance during Aaron Gordon’s dunk attempt.

The group included TikTok star Charli D’Amelio, one of the influencers who popularized Jalaiah’s dance. Jalaiah, however, wasn’t invited.

Users on Twitter became upset, saying that it was just another example of Jalaiah losing opportunities to more mainstream influencers.

Some said the fact that these influencers were white and were invited instead of Jalaiah, who is black, made it worse.

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According to some, Jalaiah’s story is part of a larger problem of appropriation on the internet.

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Finally, credit was given where it was due.

During Sunday night’s All-Star Game, the NBA invited Jalaiah to show the world her moves.

Some people turned on ALL CAPS to express how happy they were that Jalaiah was finally given recognition for the dance she’d created.  

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Others were critical that the NBA didn’t invite her in the first place.

Tweet embeds video of Jalaiah dancing at All-star game, and comments with

CBC Kids News reached out to the NBA for comment but did not hear back.