Why can’t we get enough of “Wednesday” dance | CNN


Wed Adams never does anything by accident. The most stoic and willful member of the Addams family, she rarely makes unnecessary gestures, smiles, and flashes.

So when the typically somber teen was taken over by the ballroom dance at her school dance in the eponymous new Netflix series, it caused an instant stir, on and off screen.

The brief scene makes up less than three minutes of the entire series, but it quickly becomes the most iconic moment in “Wednesday” for how free the quirky protagonist feels. Her eyes betray a rare, mysterious passion. Its limbs, which are usually attached side by side, are freely curled. The jig sure is — a lot of the tough, adaptive moves and gestures from decades past. Surely no one can mistake Wednesday Dance for the latest TikTok trend, right?

Something about that strange dance unlocked something strange inside all of us, and it cleared up faster than a fire at Chippewa camp. Its choreography has inspired viewers to give a look back to the series, making it one of the most-watched live-action shows of all time (“Stranger Things, who?”). Its online popularity led to Lady Gaga’s “Bloody Mary” returning to the charts after more than a decade. The song’s release, and it only appeared on fan-made TikToks, not the show itself!’Wednesday’ star Jenna Ortega’s admission that she designed the routine herself invited new fans—celebs included—to give it a whirl and even infuse the routine with moves from their own cultures.

Wed Addams would likely be shamed if she knew her moves had become, tremblingmainstream, but her dance won’t die – and thatYou might just have fun. Here’s what gives the “Wednesday” dance its super staying power.

The “Wednesday” dance scene only debuted a month ago, but it has a certain “myth” already, said Gina Drentine, an associate professor of marketing at Loyola University Chicago who studies how users of TikTok and other digital platforms express their identities.

Most of the scene’s lore is developed off-screen. Ortega, who plays the teen Wednesday with dark, dark humor, said she choreographed the routine herself. she calculated Among her influences are Bob Fosse, the Sioux, the Sioux, and the gothic dance clubs of the ’80s (she’s also likely slipped in some references to the “Addams Family” TV series from the ’60s).

What’s more, Ortega admitted that she is not a trained dancer, which makes her routines more attractive to non-dancers who found the routines on TikTok, Drentin said.

“I’m not a dancer and I’m sure that’s obvious,” Ortega told NME.

But Ortega’s dedication has also inspired outrage – she told NME she filmed some of the dancing while waiting for the results of her Covid-19 test, which later came back positive. This has led some to condemn the production for failing to follow proper Covid-19 prevention protocols – but nonetheless, ‘Wednesday’ has continued to make waves.

Viral trends that stay in the cultural conversation the longest usually don’t just stay on their original platform, Drentin said. Look at the Corn Kid: He appeared in a YouTube series singing the praises of a piece of bread, then clips of his appearance went viral on TikTok and since then he has been working with ChipotleGreen Giant and South Dakota State Offline Corn Promotion.

“To have a longer shelf life, TikTok Trends must make that leap into a cultural trend that goes beyond TikTok,” she said. “The ‘Wednesday’ dance had an edge in that sense because the dance and the legacy of ‘The Addams Family’ grew out of TikTok from the start.”

There is something else in the “Wednesday” dance on its part – the human tendency to learn to dance for the sake of social currency.

Think “electric slide,” “macarena,” “cupid shuffle”—the standards in bat mitzvahs and weddings, many of us move so well that we can do them without thinking. Performing it en masse at an event like this might sound like a Pavlovian response to a DJ’s song choice, Drentin said, but it’s also a communal ritual that fosters a “sense of solidarity and belonging.”

“Every gesture and movement enables the person performing it to inherently say, ‘I understand it, I’m aware, and we have this common experience,'” Drentin said.

That’s part of the reason why dance routines, from “Renegade” to Lizzo’s “About Damn Time,” often dominate TikTok. But contrary to those trends, the dance-off “Wednesday” wasn’t set to become a hit song, though the punk anthem “Goo Goo Muck” by The Cramps has since gained some new fans. The moves were easy enough to pick up, Drentin said, “straightforward but unique”.

Lady Gaga has put her own spin on the now iconic

But it took Lady Gaga to take the “Wednesday” dance class into the stratosphere. The version posted to TikTok is a “fancam” of sorts, or a mix of clips, aptly set to Gaga’s “Bloody Mary,” a biblical ode to no-holds-barred dancing. Even Mother Monster performed a version of the “Wednesday” dance wearing two long braids.

Since then, millions of users have put their own spin on the school’s Wednesday solo dance, with some users incorporating Polynesian or Indian dance styles into their versions or creating their own Wednesday look (thing, disembodied hand, included!).

Belonging, of course, contrasts with Wed’s spirit, which never cared about fitting in. She is perfectly content on an island of her own, where the sun never shines and ancient instruments of torture abound. Wednesday’s personal moves have been so widely copied that it might threaten to diminish her status as the patron saint of eccentric people—except that Wednesday’s style and attitude have been imitated for decades.

Wednesday Addams has existed in some form since the late 1930s—first as an unnamed comic character, then as a young child in a TV series, and then in her most popular iteration before Wednesday premiered, as the dead-eyed Christina Ricci. Wednesday’s fans have been dressing like her for decades, Drentin said, often inspired by portrayals of Richie. Addams’ oldest child is no longer a secret her biggest fans can avoid from mainstream pop culture.

Since her debut on Wednesday, she’s been a particular symbol to loners and goth courtiers for her unapologetic commitment to the apocalyptic. Nevertheless, she is still “an offbeat” among the women and girls of the novels, writes Emily Alford at Longreads, because she is never “quiet” or “inclined” to certain story tropes. She is who she is and does not change.

“She brought to the screen the unsettling self-acceptance that defines her, and became a crucial blueprint for a generation of girls developing their own sense of humor,” wrote Alford.

And now, many of these girls and other users are finding each other on TikTok, where niche communities can thrive (or reach regular users). The app is “a space for people to discover who they are and, more importantly, to find other people who share similar interests,” Drentin said, even if those interests include masquerading as a certain honest teen.

“TikTok arguably promotes a lot of reproduction and users can feel pressure to act, perform, and look a certain way,” Drentin said. “But Wednesday reminds people that being themselves in this sea of ​​sameness is liberating.”

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