*NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” dancing was inspired by the Black Power fist

According to Darrin Dewitt Henson, the video’s choreographer.

July 27, 2018
*NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” dancing was inspired by the Black Power fist Justin Timberlake of N'Sync at the Wango Tango Concert. May 13, 2000.   Brenda Chase/Getty Images

*NSYNC's video "Bye Bye Bye," released in 2000, is one of 12 videos featured in a new Billboard piece spotlighting iconic dance routines. Darrin Dewitt Henson, the clip's choreographer, revealed a surprising influence behind the video's moves: the Black Power fist salute popularized by John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

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Henson said that Justin Timberlake and the rest of *NSYNC were not aware of the movement's origins. He also spoke of a "quintessentially New York move" that also made it into the choreography:

The choreography simply was a combination of a few things: the puppeteers-style dancing, which came from them singing about feeling like puppets on a string on the original track; then the black power fist -- at the time the group did not know where the move come from, they just enjoyed doing the move. This is the first time I’ve actually talked about it. And then there’s the talking hand, which was a quintessentially New York move. When a person was talking too much crap, you gave them the talking hand, the opening and closing of the first. The creation of “Bye Bye Bye” happened from me growing up in the Bronx. It’s the signature move, and it will exist forever -- that’s why it’s my favorite.

Watch the "Bye Bye Bye" video below.

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*NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” dancing was inspired by the Black Power fist