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Parents dance like it's the 80s on TikTok and bring the house down| GuyWhoKnowsThings

TikTok can add a new skill to your resume: the disco time machine.

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

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

The reactions have perhaps been unexpected, because instead of laughing, The videos are cool, really cool, and serve as a portal to another era: when dance was more improvisational and spontaneous, when people felt the beat and found the beat organically, moving without the constraints of a horizontal aspect ratio. .

When Valerie Martínez, 23, asked her mother, Yeanne Velázquez, 58, to participate, it was before the challenge went viral and they had not prepared at all. “She hadn't even played him the song before,” Martínez said in a telephone interview this week with her mother. But Martínez was sure that Velázquez would give birth, because her mother is always dancing, he said.

It was nostalgic for Velázquez, who said that when the song was popular, she was around 19 years old and went dancing at one or two clubs in Puerto Rico, where she lived. Now she and her daughter live in Florida.

The avalanche of positive comments in his daughter's post, which has more than 12 million views and almost a million likes, has been encouraging, Velázquez said. What may set this trend apart is how overwhelmingly encouraging the reactions have been on TikTok and Instagram.

It's a welcome break from the tiresome tradition of mocking people over 40 online, exemplified by the “Okay Boomer.” to millennial shame speech.

“Although I didn't expect them to have such moves!” one commenter wrote. “I swear I saw a glimpse of them younger in their smiles for a split second. Very touching”.

“I can't figure out if I just love watching parents get teleported or if I just love watching other humans dance,” said another.

There were also dozens of requests in the comments to see photos of the parents from that bygone era, and some did, including Velázquezwho said he had no qualms about sharing the photos.

When asked if trends like these help unite generations online, Martinez said, “1000 percent.”

Giselle DeLaney, 28, and her mother, Sandy Cervantes, 51, decided participate on a whim and said this week that they were floored by the reception. Cervantes' video has more than 15 million views on TikTok and around 1.5 million likes.

“It was just a happy moment for both of us,” said DeLaney, who had given birth to her first baby just days earlier and filmed the video while her mother visited her in Maryland from Florida. The circumstances made the reception particularly special and brought, as DeLaney said, “a lot of positivity to our family.”

“You can see in their faces how they suddenly go back to a good time, a fun time when they were younger and, yes, living their best lives,” he said of the parents in the videos.

Of course, social media, particularly Instagram and TikTok, is considered the domain of young people, giving these viral videos and other popular accounts highlighting older people the opportunity to serve as poignant reminders that we were all once young people doing young things, and that everyone (yes, you too) will grow old if you're lucky.

Late last year, a video was posted on the account. cindeemindy showed off his groove to the 80s song “Set It Off” by Strafe; was viewed millions of times and shared on TikTok and Instagram with praise and applause. He old gaysAn account of a group of four lifelong friends, men over 65 who live in the California desert, obtained 11 million followers and turned them into unlikely influencers (or “grandfluencers,” as they are sometimes called). They also dance a lot on their page and share photos of themselves from when they were young.

Perhaps in a few decades, today's TikTok dancers will resurrect their polished moves for their kids to post on the social network du jour.

“We'll watch the videos we made of us dancing, or our kids will do it to us, and that will bring a full-circle moment,” DeLaney said. “We'll think, 'You know what? That's what I once was and this is what I am now.' And in 20 years, when someone asks me, I will be a different person, but I will remember who I was.”

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