USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘Nae Nae’
Folk Dance

Nae Nae

In popular culture, dance moves are all the rage. Popular, earworm-esque songs seem to produce dances that go alongside them more frequently than ever before. It is truly a testament to today’s youth and their creativity to make up and, more importantly, make viral these dance phenomena. Not everyone though is entertained with these seemingly childish forms of passing time. My informant, C, told me this when I, DP, asked him what he thought of these “folk dances” in a modern era.

DP: so how do you feel about these dances coming out from hip hop songs nowadays?

C: they’re trash man.

DP: what do you mean?

C: There’s no creativity. For example, take the Nae Nae.

DP: Man, the Nae Nae died out like 3 years ago, what more can you say?

C: Listen to this really quick: You do a hockey goalie stance. When the song says “watch me whip,” you will rotate and extend your right hand in front of you in a way that your hand goes from palmar to dorsal. When you “nae nae” you bring your right hand from the extended position, open hand, and bring it back and forth, allowing the motion of your arm to allow your trunk to move with it.

Jokes aside, this interviewer tends to agree with the informant. The merits of pop culture are definitely present, but when it comes to these repetitive and predictable applications like simple dances, they come across as contrived more than anything else.


*for another popular dance that has stemmed from a song, see Harlem Shake by Baauer*

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