PARIS, May 18 — A wave of nostalgia is sweeping social networks, driven by young people fascinated with the 1980s. TikTok and Instagram are full of videos of parents, especially mothers, dancing to a hit from that decade.

And this so-called “mom dance challenge” is racking up millions of views.

A new trend is taking over TikTok, in the shape of the “mom dance challenge.” This basically involves Gen Zers are asking their parents, who grew up in the 1980s, to show them how they danced back then.

To accomplish this new challenge — one of many to go viral on the Chinese social network — young people have chosen a song representative of that decade, Smalltown Boy by the British pop group Bronski Beat.


The fun and light-hearted challenge has already scored millions of views, and its popularity is growing by the day. A video posted by Tabatha Lynn, filming her mother Leanne, has racked up almost 10 million views.

Even the actress Jennifer Garner has got in on the act, sharing a performance filmed in her bathroom. Her video has over six million views.

@tabathalynnk 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

The featured dance moves reveal a simpler, more relaxed style than the sometimes sophisticated routines and choreographies that made TikTok so popular, especially during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown. For Gen Z, these Gen X moves reflect the carefree spirit of the ‘80s.


Indeed, the decade marked a golden age for nightclubs, following in the wake of the 1970s. Back then, going out dancing was a must for every young adult. But today, clubbing seems to have lost its luster. Indeed, just 1,200 nightclubs remain open in France today, compared to some 4,000 in the 1980s, according to the hospitality trade group UMIH.

Yet, ‘80s music is very popular with the younger generation, as demonstrated by the recent success of Kate Bush‘s Running up that Hill and Metallica’s Master of Puppets. These two 40-year-old tracks experienced a sudden surge in popularity after being featured in the latest season of the Stranger Things TV show. — ETX Studio