The dance scene from Netflix’s “Wednesday” quickly became iconic and inspired millions of copycats on TikTok. Here’s what gives the peculiar routine its supernatural staying power.
Another thing the “Wednesday” dance has on its side – the human tendency to learn a dance for social currency.
Think of the “Electric Slide,” “Macarena,” “Cupid Shuffle” – standards at bat mitzvahs and weddings, moves many of us know so well we can perform them without thinking. Performing them en masse at an event like that might feel like a Pavlovian response to a DJ’s song choice, but it’s also a shared ritual that fosters “a sense of solidarity and belonging,” Drenten said.
“Every gesture and movement enables the person performing it to inherently say, ‘I get it, I’m in the know, we have this shared experience,’” Drenten said.
That’s part of the reason why dance routines, from “Renegade” to Lizzo’s “About Damn Time,” so often dominate TikTok. But unlike those trends, the “Wednesday” dance wasn’t set to a popular song, although The Cramps’ punk anthem “Goo Goo Muck” has since earned some new fans. The moves were easy enough to pick up, Drenten said, “straightforward but unique.”
But it took Lady Gaga to take the “Wednesday” dance stratospheric. The version that’s gone über-viral on TikTok is a “fancam” of sorts, or a mashup of clips, set fittingly to Gaga’s “Bloody Mary,” a Biblical ode to dancing uninhibitedly
(I haven’t seen this, but I can imagine the slight against the David story – why is nothing ever original with these mockers?} Even Mother Monster herself performed a version of the “Wednesday” dance, wearing two long braids.
When rebellious “being yourself” becomes mainstream and cliche. Has “being yourself” ever meant following in some film or storybook character’s footsteps? Now they teach you to become rebellious followers, in the precise, dead-eyed footsteps laid out before you.