The Nae Nae

The Nae Nae

Updated Mar 06, 2015 at 04:35PM EST by Brad.

Added Apr 03, 2014 at 04:31PM EDT by Molly Horan.

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The Nae Nae is a choreographed dance stylized by holding one arm in the air and one arm by your side as you rock back and forth on slightly bent knees. It became popular in the fall of 2013 after footage of people performing the dance were uploaded to the video-sharing sites Vine and YouTube.


On September 14th, 2013, Vine user Kevin Cartez[10] uploaded a Vine of the hip hop group WeAreToonz, who are credited with creating the dance, dancing the Nae Nae. As of March 2014, the Vine has gained over 40,000 likes and has been re-vined over 53,000 times.

The dance is loosely based on the dance style of the character Sheneneh Jenkins from the 1990s comedy television show Martin[2].


On October 8th, 2013, WeAreToonz uploaded a video which explains how to dance the Nae Nae to their Youtube channel.[1] As of March 2014, the video has gained over 7.5 million views.

On November 19th, WeAreToonz announced a YouTube contest to find the best high school, US, and International dancers performing the Nae Nae, with the winner given the opportunity to perform in the official “Drop That NaeNae” music video.

On November 21st, StockBridge High School’s entry[4], one of the most viewed, was uploaded and it has gained over 3.5 million views as of March 2014.

A Facebook page[3] for the dance was created on January 6th, 2014. As of March 2014, the page has gained over 196,000 likes.

On January 11th, WeAreToonz uploaded a Nae Nae dance video featuring NBA player Dwight Howard. As of March 2014, the video has gained over 520,000 views.

On January 15th, YouTuber TLC Gold[9] uploaded a video featuring the ’90s R&B group TLC dancing the Nae Nae with a group of dancers. As of March 2014, the video has gained over 110,000 views.

On March 13th, 2014, the music video for Jennifer Lopez’s song “I Luh Ya Papi” was uploaded to her official JenniferLopezVEVO[8] YouTube channel. The video features Lopez and her backup dancers dancing the Nae Nae, and as of March 2014, the video has gained over 19.4 million views.

As of March 2014, the hashtag #dropthatnaenae has been tweeted out over 2.8 million times.

On March 21st, 2014, after Mercer University beat Duke in the NCCA college basketball championship game, Mercer player Kevin Canevari began to dance the Nae Nae in celebration. This caused many websites to create stories and reports on the dance using Canevari as a starting point, including Deadspin[5], Heavy[6], and Slate.[7]

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