College students at Ohio State aren’t always studying, working out or going to class. Sometimes, they’re dancing –– and they aren’t alone.
TikTok is a social media app that is well known for its creation of viral dance routines, which are made by users of the application. Ohio State students, much like college students across the country and world, are dancing along to these popular trends and discovering a community within them.
Sadie Carducci, a second-year in civil engineering, said students on campus recognize her and from her dance videos and dorm tours on TikTok .
“I was at Five Below, and I was just shopping, and these two girls look up to me and they’re like, ‘Hi, we saw your videos on TikTok and we just wanted to come and say hi,’ ” Carducci said. “And then I’ve had people walk into my dorm from my building, and they see the room and they’re like, ‘This is that room from TikTok.’ ”
Carducci said her current favorite dance is “Touch Down 2 Cause Hell (Bow Bow Bow),” a 15-second routine that incorporates many well-known TikTok-specific dance moves. She has made other dancing videos on her account to songs such as “Talkin’ Bout” by Loui and “Rich” by Big Yavo.
Katie Devine, who graduated from Ohio State in 2019 and is now an assistant coach for the university’s varsity dance team, said the team practiced and performed popular TikTok dances with kids who attended Ohio State Dance Youth Camp over the summer.
Devine said although the dances were ideal when it came to ensuring participants had fun and could pick up on the steps, it was difficult to find trendy dances that go with songs that are appropriate.
“Finding things that are clean and collegiate and, you know, promote our brand is kind of the biggest thing that we have to look for,” Devine said. “And then from there, obviously, we want our kids to enjoy it.”
The dance team launched its own TikTok account in May 2020, which now boasts over 90,000 followers and has accumulated over 2 million likes. Devine said the idea to start an account came from one of their very own students.
“It was really a growing platform,” Devine said. “In our spare time, too, we were like, ‘You know, might as well explore the setting.’ ”
From the account’s conception, the team’s content creation has been methodical, with videos being planned ahead of time, Devine said. The team mainly posts skill videos emphasizing their talent, but they will occasionally record current dance trends.
Devine said people from all over the world watch the dance team’s TikToks, with several of them boasting over a million views.
Over the years, social media platforms have transformed, Devine said. Instagram was the leading app when she was in college, but she said it didn’t have the international reach TikTok does, and it didn’t take up as much time in student’s lives as TikTok has the ability to.
“Something from Instagram usually doesn’t, you know, transcend into your day-to-day life, whereas you can hear music anywhere and you can, you know, kind of do a dance anywhere,” Devine said.
Across Ohio State’s campus and the country, TikTok continues to grow along with the potential it has to bring people together through dance and in general, Devine said.
“I think that seeing people on TikTok that are going through the same things as you, all over the world, is comforting,” Devine said.