Nothing Wednesday Addams does is a coincidence. jenna ortega is the Addams Family member who is the most austere and deliberate, rarely smiling or blinking without reason.
So it was no surprise when the usually depressed girl in the new Netflix series bearing her name became possessed by the spirit of dancing at her school dance.
The brief sequence, which accounts for less than three minutes of the entire series, has already established itself as “Wednesday most “‘s recognizable scene due to how liberated our eccentric protagonist seems to feel. Her eyes reveal an uncommon, ghastly passion. Her normally attached limbs are now free to move about.
There are many stiff, stilted gestures and references to earlier decades in the dance, which is undoubtedly her. Nobody could possibly confuse Wednesday’s dance with the newest TikTok craze, right?
We all had a twisted side that was unleashed by that strange dance, and it spread faster than a fire at Camp Chippewa. One of the most watched programs on the streaming service ever (“Stranger Things,” who? ), clips of the choreography encouraged fans to check out the episode. More than ten years after its first release, Lady Gaga’s “Bloody Mary” returned to the charts thanks to its internet popularity, although it was only used in fan-produced TikTok, not the actual show! Jenna Ortega, star of “Wednesday,” acknowledged that she created the performance herself, which encouraged new admirers, including celebrities, to donate.
She is the star of “Wednesday,” and revealed that she choreographed the dance herself, which encouraged new fans—celebrities included—to give it a go and even incorporate routines from their own cultures.
If Wednesday Addams discovered her dance routines had entered the mainstream, she would probably be horrified. However, she might even love that her dance hasn’t died. What gives the “Wednesday” dance its uncanny longevity is as follows.
Even though the “Wednesday” dance culture has only been around for a month, it already has a specific “mythology,” according to Jenna Drenten, an associate professor of marketing at Loyola University Chicago who focuses on how TikTok users express their identities.
The majority of the scene’s backstory was created off-screen. According to Ortega, who portrays a teenage Wednesday while maintaining her black humor, she choreographed the dance herself. She cited Siouxsie Sioux, Bob Fosse, and 1980s goth clubs as influences (perhaps sneaking in some nods to “The Addams Family” TV show from the ’60s as well).
However, Jenna Ortega’s commitment has also sparked criticism; according to NME, she recorded parts of the dance as she awaited the results of the Covid-19 test, which ultimately came back positive. Some criticised the production for not following the correct Covid-19 prevention practises on site as a result, but “Wednesday” kept garnering attention.
According to Drenten, the trending topics that go viral and stick around in popular culture the longest frequently cross over from their original platform. Regarding the Corn Kid: He made an appearance in a YouTube series praising the praises of the corn cob. After TikTok users shared clips of his performance, he went on to promote corn offline for Chipotle, Green Giant, and the state of South Dakota.
“TikTok trends have to make that leap to a cultural trend, beyond the limits of TikTok, to have a longer shelf life,” she said. “The Wednesday” dance had a benefit in this regard because it and “The Addams Family” heritage were created independently of TikTok from the beginning.
The human propensity to learn a dance for social currency is another advantage the “Wednesday” dance has over other dances.
Consider dances like the “Electric Slide,” “Macarena,” and “Cupid Shuffle,” which are common at weddings and bat mitzvahs and which many of us can execute automatically. It would appear Pavlovian to perform them in unison during such an event, but Drenten explained that it’s also a shared ritual that develops “a sense of unity and belonging.”
Every gesture and action, according to Drenten, enables the performer to innately convey the message, “I get it, I’m in the know, and we have this shared experience.”
This contributes to the prevalence of dance moves on TikTok, including those to songs like “Renegade” and “About Damn Time” by Lizzo. The “Wednesday” dance, however, was not accompanied with a well-known song, despite the fact that The Cramps’ punk anthem “Goo Goo Muck” has subsequently gained some new admirers. The manoeuvres were “straightforward but unusual,” according to Drenten, and were simple enough to learn.