As TikTok becomes increasingly popular and mainstream, more and more users—from teenage comedians to celebrities like Ashley Tisdale—are hopping on the app to create videos worthy of the "For You" page. And given that
dance challenges are among the most popular trends on the music-driven platform, it's no surprise that some of our favorite dance creators have now logged on to show off their skills.
Why is dance in particular so likely to go viral on the app? "It's something that everybody can use to communicate, no matter what their language is, what their differences are," says 16-year-old Sofia Wylie, one of the most popular TikTok creators, as well as a star on the Disney hit show "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series." That relatability factor makes dance perfect for TikTok, whose algorithm allows for anyone to have their content seen by a wide audience. Of course, dance is also fun to watch and replicate, and TikTok's duet feature—where users can record side-by-side with others—allows for everyone to dance to the song of the moment, whether it's another tune from Doja Cat or a new rendition of "Renegade" (which is one of Sofia's favorite TikTok dances).
pov: you wake up your new robot and set it to tik tok mode but it starts having a lil too much fun🤖 ib: theanagarrett♬ BDASH Breathe - bdash_2
"Creating on TikTok is really fun because it's a lot of people that are my age from around the world," says 16-year-old Tahani Anderson, an alum of "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation." "Different countries, different cities, different states—you get to see a lot of people and styles on one app."
Both Tahani and Sofia started creating a few years ago on Musical.ly, an app that eventually was merged into TikTok. Dancer and vlogger Sierra Neudeck, on the other hand, joined a little later in the game, though the 18-year-old has quickly become a TikTok standout. "I've brought my professional dance background over to TikTok by making sure all of my dances are unique," Sierra says. "We're all a big community on TikTok and we all support one another, so whenever I see fans' dances, I take inspiration from them, or make note of a move I love that they do."
So, what's the key to going viral on TikTok?
Step one: Good lighting.
"TikTok is a visual-first app, so you want to make sure you're looking presentable, the background has light in it, and that it's aesthetically pleasing. You want to make sure that you catch the eye of the audience quickly, because they are just scrolling through," Sierra explains. All three girls suggest filming outside if possible. After all, what's better than natural sunlight?
Step two: Add your own style. Because of the massive reach of TikTok, dance trends are recreated millions of times over. But adding your own style and flair will help you stick out on the "For You" page. "I'm very animated when I dance, so on TikTok, I definitely add my own flavor to it by making those little expressions with my face, throwing a bit of a sassy personality into it," says Tahani.
And don't feel like you have to stick to trends! Sofia, Tahani, and Sierra all also choreograph their own dances for TikTok, choosing songs and sounds that'll make someone watching stop scrolling. "I find songs or sounds that are upbeat or fun or throwbacks that I really loved growing up," Sofia says. "The main demographic of TikTok is kids around my age, so we have a lot of the same childhood favorites. Bringing back those nostalgic moments is fun and relatable for everybody."
Another important tip for when you're choreographing original content: Make sure you think about your audience. Many TikTok users will want to be able to recreate your dances, so while you definitely want to add your own spin to them, don't make them so difficult that they can't be duet-ed. "When I'm choreographing for TikTok," Sierra explains, "I do try to add different moves that aren't the typical TikTok steps that everyone knows. But I also make sure that it's easy enough for everyone to do, because not everyone is a dancer."
The final step: Let your authenticity shine—and have fun!
"People love seeing others who are genuine and completely themselves," Sofia says. "Trying to do it for any specific reason—whether it's becoming famous or just getting on the 'For You' page—becomes stressful. It's an app! Don't take it that seriously."