The viral ‘Water’ dance TikTok trend: Tyla, the singer behind it, shows you how to do it


Referring to Tyla as “the singer behind the TikTok ‘Water’ dance trend” feels painfully reductionist. While many know the South African songstress as a TikTok trend pioneer, I discovered her two years ago when she melted my heart with a 2021 banger called “Getting Late.”

Her fame blossomed when she opened for Chris Brown’s “Under the Influence” tour earlier this year. Concertgoers began uploading TikTok clips of Tyla performing “Water,” a catchy song that launched in July. According to Time, the tune is a melange of pop, R&B, Afrobeats, and amapiano.

Mesmerizing viewers with her rhythmic hips, she writhed and shook her tush to the beat while pouring water down her back. Soon after, TikTok users began attempting the dance themselves, dubbing it #TylaWaterChallenge or #WaterDanceChallenge. According to Time, hashtags of this ilk attracted nearly 500 million views.

How to do Tyla’s viral TikTok “Water” dance challenge

Mashable’s Digital Culture team has had the pleasure of publishing several tutorials for TikTok trends, including crazes like the viral AI ’90s yearbook and moon phase compatibility. All of these trends require some sort of app download before you can engage in them, but as Mashable’s Digital Culture Editor Crystal Bell joked, you only need one thing for Tyla’s TikTok “Water” dance challenge: rhythm.

Tyla visited Capital, a radio station in the UK, and gave us a step-by-step tutorial on how, exactly, she does the ultra-popular “Water” dance.

First, Tyla says you need to move your waist, but make sure you add a gallop to it.

Second, you must raise both of your arms up and then wipe your forehead — as if you’re sweating of course.

Third, you need to hop on your dominant foot, with the flair of a South African dancer.

And finally, everyone’s favorite part, you simply shake your bum!

Don’t feel as if you need to be perfect. There are plenty of TikTokers who’ve posted themselves doing the “Water” dance challenge laughing at their poor coordination and just having fun with it. Now go ahead and show us what you got!




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