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The ’80s Dance Challenge TikTok Trend Is Taking Over! See Parents Busting Nostalgic Moves

Kids are challenging their ‘80s-cool parents in the new viral trend, and it has surprising benefits


Nothing gets us dancing quite like ’80s music, and a charming new TikTok trend where kids ask their parents to bust into their best groovy dance is illustrating how it can transcend generations. These parents are even showing Millennials and Gen Z a thing or two they may not have known about mom and dad.

Click through for more ’80s goodness!

What is the ’80s TikTok dance challenge?

The ’80s TikTok dance challenge  started taking off in early May 2024 and has racked  up millions of views. The premise is simple: The TikToker plays Bronski Beat‘s classic 1984 track “Smalltown Boy” (a song that has a shimmying synth line — though ironically, the lyrics are pretty sad) and asks a parent to dance like they did in the ’80s. The results are far more fabulous than you might expect, as the moms and dads on camera instantly bust out MTV-ready dance moves, as if they never gave up their hairspray and acid wash jeans.

MUST-READ: 20 Early ’80s Songs That Are So Catchy We Bet You Can’t Resist From Singing Along


she absolutely ate this up, what i wouldnt give for a time machine #fyp #dancing #80s #dancechallenge

♬ original sound – Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

Why is the trend so popular?

The ’80s TikTok dance videos have struck a chord with people of all ages. Their appeal is twofold: They show the kid something they never knew about their parent (in most cases, the parent’s dance moves are pretty darn good!) and they give the parent a welcome dose of nostalgia and an opportunity to show off — a true win-win, and an adorable bright spot on any feed.

MUST-READ: These Nostalgic Photos of the Original ’80s Supermodels Are Filled With Glam Fashion Inspiration

The array of dance moves on display is also fun to watch. There are shoulder shimmies, hip thrusts, and jazz hands. No two dances are the same, and all the parents appear to have an impressive muscle memory for the moves of their youth — and are gloriously unafraid to let the rhythm take over.


The way she’d dance in the 80s!!@Dr. Tabassian M.D. Yes shes an amazing physician too! #80schallenge #80s #dance

♬ original sound – Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

Another great thing about these videos is the fact that the vast majority of the comments on them are positive, with users complimenting the parents’ moves and saying how they wish they could’ve seen them hit the dancefloor back in the day.

MUST-READ: ’80s Supermodel Kim Alexis Shares Her Healthy Habits and Tips for Confidence (EXCLUSIVE)

Some of the TikTokers have even reported that they feel closer to their parents after making the videos. On top of that, dance is also known to have all kinds of benefits for the body and mind, while nostalgia can also foster creativity and positive feelings — so yes, an argument can be made that these videos are good for you!


My moms 80s dance moves, I wanna be her when I grow up 😍 our kids better not ask us this in 30 years 😂 #80s #momsoftiktok #dancemoves

♬ original sound – Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

These ’80s dance videos make up one of TikTok’s most wholesome spaces, and show that there’s nothing like a great pop song and some joyful movement to bridge the generation gap.

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