Maybe you know all the moves for “Renegade,” the hottest trending dance sequence on TikTok and social media right now. But do you know who created it? Probably not and you’re not alone.
But all that changed on Thursday, when 14-year-old Jalaiah Harmon was invited to the “Ellen Degeneres” show and the world got to meet the “Renegade” creator and she received her due recognition. She created the 15-second dance routine in her Atlanta bedroom last September, and then posted it on Funimate, a video app similar to TikTok. She later reposted it on Instagram, and about a month later, the dance made its way to TikTok, through other creators and it went viral among teenagers worldwide, and was even copied and adapted by the likes of Lizzo and Alex Rodriguez. In front of a live studio audience on Thursday, she explained her choreographic process and then performed her signature moves to K Camp’s hit song “Lottery,” alongside Stephen “tWich” Boss, a well known dancer and DJ on Ellen.
After an emphatic round of applause, she was asked by Degeneres how long it took her to come up with this dance that’s made up of a series of choreographed arm and upper body movements. Jalaiah responded coolly, “It only took about 5 to 10 minutes, but it took a lot of tries. It was right before dance, so I had to really rush.”
Jalaiah was invited to perform at the 2020 NBA All Star Game earlier this month but she was a late addition to the party. The NBA initially included several TikTok stars to the festivities, including Addison Easterling and Charlie D’amelio who helped popularize the dance online. But it was only after an overwhelming surge of outrage from the fans for leaving out Jalaiah, that she was added to the roster.
Her lost recognition was definitely acknowledged at the end of her debut television appearance when Degeneres gifted her a snazzy jacket that read “The Original Renegade Dancer” on the back along with her name on the front. To top it off, each pocket was filled with $1,000 inside, for a total of $5,000.