Who created The Woah dance?

The Dallas-based dance craze is reaching the top markers of popular culture — and has been done by Lil Uzi Vert, Drake, and Travis Scott — while arguments over its creation are bubbling in Texas.

October 09, 2018

Dallas has a long history of creating dance-based rap music where the dances themselves often transcend the songs they were created for and the neighborhoods where they originated. There was Lil' Wil's 2007 song "My Dougie," Yung Nation's "Shawty Wassup" in 2013, and now, the city has helped birth The Woah, a dance craze that's already reaching the upper corners of popular culture and inspiring heated debate about its origins.

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In a video from September 2017 by DJ Dangerous, one person claiming to have created the dance, outlines its basic steps: a general bounce with arms and legs, a lock move ("like you're putting your car in park"), and a combination of the two, so the final result is a series of bounces, improvisations in between, and shimmied locks to the beat. As its soundtrack, the video uses "Hit My Woah!" by A-1 SteakSauce, Lyric Melody, and Big Duece. The song was also used in another dance video by students at Prarie View A&M, who say the dance originated at the school.

Around the same time, three weeks before the release of "Hit My Woah!" to be exact, a song simply called "The Woah" was uploaded to YouTube by Dallas artists Tspeed and 5upamanhoe. The artwork for the song says it was inspired by the Rollie Bros, a group of Dallas dancers who had created a dance called The Rollie in 2015.

The group was composed of 10k Cash, D Smooth, and their friends. Over the past year, 10K Cash has become the most visible dancer with a claim as the creator of The Woah and his videos, shot by longtime Dallas dance videographer JMoney1041, have gained millions of views. Artists like Tisakorean and Splurge, who make the songs they've danced to, have now been gaining momentum for their music outside of Texas.

Philly's Lil Uzi Vert was the first major artist to embrace The Woah, and he can be seen hitting the dance with 10k Cash on Instagram and in videos by JMoney. In the past few weeks, Drake did the dance onstage on his tour and, this past weekend, Travis Scott did the dance during his performance on Saturday Night Live on October 6. Scott was subsequently called out by Houston rapper Sauce Walka for not including the kids who created the dance in his set, and Scott ended up meeting up with Young Deji, a Houston dancer who created a similar dance called The Dejo years ago and claims to have invented The Woah, later that night.

Amid this mainstream attention, all these individuals maintain their claim as the creators of the dance. A recent Twitter thread from DJ Dangerous outlines his version of events, writing that Young Deji was incorrectly conflating The Dejo with The Woah. An Instagram post by 10k Cash shows a snippet of a conversation between himself and Young Deji in which Deji seems to be saying he let 10k have the dance and run with it.

In each instance, it seems like the dance has changed slightly with each dancer adding their own flavor to the basic formula. The truth about who created The Woah is now murky and confusing. As it gains the potential for someone to monetize it in one way or another, like many viral dances before it, The Woah has taken on a life of its own.

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Who created The Woah dance?