Because there's never been a better time to get your TikTok on. (Getty Images/TikTok)

7 of the Best TikTok Dance Challenges to Learn While Stuck at Home

Right now, a lot of us are social-distancing. Which is a good thing for the community. But for dancers, being at home—read: not in the studio—can be especially tough.

Enter TikTok. The app is blowing up right now, with everyone from Hailey Bieber to LeBron James to former Bachelorette (and "Dancing with the Stars" champ) Hannah Brown making accounts to stave off the stir-craziness.

To get you started on your TikTok journey, Dance Spirit rounded up seven of the best dances for you to learn. And when you're ready to share the fruits of your TikTok labors, be sure to tag us @dancespiritmagazine—we'll repost some of our faves!


#DistanceDance

@jknight5253

stay home & do the ##distancedance @charlidamelio made✌🏼 first 3M videos, P&G makes a donation to Feeding America & Matthew 25 ##PGPartner ##teacher

♬ Big Up's - Jordyn

Want to do good while dancing? Try the #DistanceDance, brought to you by the queen of TikTok, Charli D'Amelio. For every video posted with the hashtag, a donation will be made to the charity Feeding America.

"Say So" Dance

@yodelinghaley

HERE IT IS!! the full say so dance🥺🥰

♬ say so by doja cat - yodelinghaley

The "Say So" is one of the most popular dances on TikTok in part because it's so simple. Because really, if you have two minutes, you can learn this dance. Plus, Doja Cat, who sings "Say So" featured the TikTok dance in the music video for her song.

"Blinding Lights" Challenge

@ellamwils

make this go viral bc my mom thinks she wasn’t good 🥺 ##ButterGlossPop ##gamingszn ##mealprep ##quarantine ##fyp ##xyzbca ##staysafe ##dance ##MoodBoost

♬ The Weeknd - Blinding Lights - gregdahl7

Because the "Blinding Lights" dance requires three people, TikTokers everywhere are rounding up their bored family members to perform it with them. Grab two members of your #quarantinecrew and you're good to go!

"Savage" Dance

@kekepalmer

##savagechallenge

♬ original sound - kekepalmer

Set to "Savage" by Megan Thee Stallion, this dance challenge recently got super big. Show your followers that you're a savage—and get bonus points by including a costume change, like Keke Palmer did in her viral video.

"Attention" Challenge

@charlidamelio

thanks @gemmah_ for the camera work

♬ Attention by Todrick Hall - xoprinceali

Dancers, do I have your attention? Because this TikTok challenge is tailor-made for all the bendy, leggy, crazy-flexible queens out there. Show off your whack-iest kicks and splits while dancing to "Attention" by our eternal fave, Todrick Hall.

"Supalonely" Dance

@addisonre

dc @zoifishh

♬ Supalonely (feat. Gus Dapperton) - BENEE

Doesn't the name say it all? If you're feeling "Supalonely" while stuck at home, spend some time learning this super-fun dance. Better yet, get your dance squad together via Zoom, and learn it as a group—"Supalonely" no more!

"The Renegade"

@charlidamelio

guys i would like to introduce you to @_.xoxlaii i am so happy that she was able to teach me the original choreography that she made she is the best!

♬ Lottery - K Camp

No TikTok roundup would be complete without the most iconic dance from the app. But you better be up for a challenge if you're planning to take on "The Renegade"—it's famously one of the hardest dances to learn, with quick, complicated choreo. (Then again...you've got nothing but time.)

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Ashton Edwards Is Breaking Down Gender Barriers in Ballet

When Ashton Edwards was 3 years old, the Edwards family went to see a holiday production of The Nutcracker in their hometown, Flint, MI.

For the young child, it was love at first sight.

"I saw a beautiful, black Clara," Ashton says, "and I wanted to be just like her."

Ashton has dedicated 14 years of ballet training in pursuit of that childhood dream. But all the technical prowess in the world can't help Ashton surmount the biggest hurdle—this aspiring dancer was assigned male at birth, and for the vast majority of boys and men, performing in pointe shoes hasn't been a career option. But Ashton Edwards, who uses the pronouns "he" and "they," says it's high time to break down ballet's gender barrier, and their teachers and mentors believe this passionate dancer is just the person to lead the charge.

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In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of about two dozen dancers got the rare opportunity to work on an upcoming Apple TV+ series—one devoted entirely to celebrating, and spoofing, classic 1940s and '50s musicals from the Great White Way and Hollywood. "Schmigadoon!", which premiered on AppleTV+ July 16, stars Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key, who get stuck inside a musical and must find true love in order to leave. The show features a star-studded Broadway cast, including Aaron Tveit, Ariana DeBose, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Jane Krakowski and Dove Cameron, and is chock-full of dancing courtesy of series choreographer, Christopher Gattelli.

"The adrenaline was pretty exciting, being able to create during the pandemic," says Gattelli. "I felt like we were representing all performers at that point. There were so many who wanted to be working during the pandemic, so I really tried to embrace this opportunity for all of them."

Gattelli says it was a dream come true to pay tribute to the dance geniuses that preceded him, like Michael Kidd, Agnes de Mille, Onna White and Jerome Robbins, in his choreography. Each number shows off a "little dusting" of their work.

Dance Spirit spoke with Gattelli about all the triumphs and tribulations of choreographing in a pandemic, and got an inside look at specific homages to look out for.

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Shouldering the Load: What kind of dance bag should dancers use?

Walk into any dance convention, audition or class, and you'll see a vast variety of dance bags lining the walls. But can the style of bag you use (and how you wear it) have an impact on your dancing?

Don't worry—you won't have to shoulder the load alone. Dance Spirit spoke with two physical therapists who specialize in working with dancers to find out what dance bag is best.

What should dancers look for in a dance bag?

Dr. Meghan Gearhart, physical therapist and owner of Head2Toe Physical Therapy in Charlotte, NC, recommends dancers opt for a backpack-style dance bag rather than a duffel or cross-body bag.

"A bag that pulls the weight all to one side creates a side bend and rotation in the trunk," Gearhart says. "That is going to lead to muscle imbalances that will affect dancers while they're dancing, as well as just in regular everyday life." Muscle imbalances can mean limited mobility on one side of your body, as the muscles on one side are overly contracted and the other side is overly extended to compensate.

Gearhart suggests dancers pick a backpack made from a lightweight yet durable and breathable material, such as cotton, linen, nylon or polyester. Straps should be wide enough to not dig into your shoulder muscles, so avoid drawstring styles with rope straps. Adjustable and padded straps are best, so you can wear the straps at a length where the bag rests at the middle of your back.

Dr. Bridget Kelly Sinha, physical therapist and founder of Balanced Physical Therapy and Dance Wellness in Matthews, NC, emphasizes the importance of finding an even weight distribution when choosing a dance bag.

"If a dancer has a lot to bring, like when heading to the theater for a full day of rehearsals and performances, then I recommend a rolling suitcase to offset the load," Sinha says.

How should dancers wear their bags?

Even if you've selected the perfect dance bag, it's important to be mindful of how you wear it.

Gearhart advocates wearing both straps when carrying your backpack. She also suggests placing heavier items towards the back of the bag, where they will sit closer to your body. A bag with straps that are too loose (or a bag that is too heavy) can create an increased arch in the lower back or cause a dancer to compensate for the weight by leaning forward. Ideally, Gearhart recommends a dancer's dance bag weighing no more than 10 to 15 percent of their body weight.

"I usually tell dancers to use their common sense. If you don't have tap today, you don't need to bring the tap shoes," she says. "If your water bottle makes the bag too heavy, just carry it." If your studio offers lockers, take advantage of that storage space to lessen the number of clothes, shoes, and dance accessories that live in your dance bag.

And if you think your bad dance-bag habits have given you alignment issues, seek out a dance physical therapist to prevent further injuries.

"As a dancer, your body is working so hard all day," Sinha says. "It does not need excess strain from your bag."

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