Evolution of Popular Dances: Whip, Nae-Nae, Dab
The “Do it Like Me” challenge, which repeats the line “Ooh ooh aah aah ay ay turn up Bet you can’t whip like me, can’t milly rock like me, can’t hit the quan like me” is a widely popular dance routine and is often performed in school hallways and even on the street. Dances like the Whip and the Dab are quickly dominating pop culture. People perform them everywhere, from football fields to the White House to on television shows. Whether we’ve mastered or failed in performing these dances, do we know where they come from or what they mean?
The Whip is by far the most popular dance at the moment. The word “whip” itself is popularized slang for a car and the dance resembles just that. It all started with a YouTube video posted by King Imprint titled “New Dance #Whip” in the summer of 2014, although the dance premiered in Atlanta in the early 2000s. To do the Whip, you lift your leg and put your arm out like you’re driving a car with the seat fully reclined. The Whip spread when football player Odell Beckham was seen dancing it in the field’s endzone. The dance was solidified in pop culture with the release of the single “Watch Me” by Silento. Though definitely not the king of the Whip, Silento provided a catchy, easy-to-follow song that perfectly accompanies the dance. It is easy to whip to essentially any song–just commit to it and whip with confidence.
The Nae-Nae, created by the Atlanta quintet WeAreToonz, is often accompanied by the Whip. The group posted a video on YouTube in 2013 with a song to go with it, “Drop That #naenae.” The dance was inspired by Shanehneh from the TV show Martin. When told the inspiration behind the dance, Nikki Lumbre, ‘16, is surprised that she did not think of Shanehneh. The dance is supposed to resemble a girl dancing in the club in her own way, waving her arms all over the place. To do the Nae-Nae, you wave your hand in the air from side to side, rock low on your knees, and exclaim “huahhh.” This dance is at its best with attitude and sass.
The Milly Rock is a dance mentioned in the “Do It Like Me” challenge. The dance originates from Bed Stuy in Brooklyn by a rapper named 2 Milly, who sings the song “Milly Rock”. The Milly Rock is a two-step that allows for customization by moving your hands in a repeated motion like you are smelling the aroma of food. This dance is more advanced, requiring a lot of practice.
Another dance, made popular via the Vine app, is the Quan. The song “Hit the Quan” by Atlanta rapper iHeartMemphis helped the dance become as popular as it is. The dance is intended to resemble the rapper Rich Homie Quan’s mannerisms and dancing. To hit the quan, you do a low two-step rock and wave your arms back and forth in front and behind. The entire dance sequence is fun to perform and adds different elements to the Quan. Fun fact: the name “Quan” comes from the rapper’s real first name, Dequantes.
Finally, the Dab is another of many dances that originated in Atlanta. The dance was first performed by rapper Skippa da Flippa in one of her videos in 2014. Between Migos, Skippa Da Flippa, Peewee Longway, and Rich The Kid, it remains uncertain who actually invented the Dab. Migos released a song, “Look at my Dab,” in September 2015 that perfectly accompanies the dance. Dab refers to coughing after inhaling a substance. To do the dab, you basically spontaneously sneeze without making contact with your arm. This dance is a godsend for those who, like Carmen Perry, ‘16, “do these dances horribly.” The dab was popularized by Carolina Panthers football player Cam Newton during his victory dance, though he did not invent it.
According to a survey of 93 Stone Ridge students, 64% do not know what any of these dances mean or where they come from. So, the next time you hit the Nae-Nae or the Dab, you will know more about the history behind it.
Evolution of Popular Dances: Whip, Nae-Nae, Dab The “Do it Like Me” challenge, which repeats the line “Ooh ooh aah aah ay ay turn up Bet you can’t whip like me, can’t milly rock like me, can’t