A Stunning Upset, But What Was That Dance? Meet the Nae Nae.

Slate's Culture Blog
March 21 2014 4:53 PM

A Stunning Upset, But What Was That Dance? Meet the Nae Nae.

479922703-kevin-canevari-of-the-mercer-bears-celebrates-with
Kevin Canevari does the Nae Nae.

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

On Friday afternoon, Mercer pulled off the biggest upset of the NCAA tournament so far, beating Duke 78-71. After the game, the Bears’ Kevin Canevari—who had already garnered one viral moment, albeit one that was slightly embarrassing—broke out into a boisterous GIF-worthy groove, repeating a series of steps over and over again to the delight of his teammates. Much of the rest of the world, however, was probably wondering what the heck he was doing.

He was doing the Nae Nae, a dance created by Atlanta fivesome We Are Toonz. As Billboard pointed out a couple of months ago, it’s loosely inspired by the character Sheneneh, played in drag by Martin Lawrence on his popular eponymous sitcom from the ’90s. (Like all new dances, the song comes accompanied with a song, “Drop that #NaeNae.")

Advertisement

The dance has since become a national phenomenon, particularly among athletes: You can find plenty of videos of players Nae Nae-ing in the locker room or on the court. Even Dwight Howard has proved unable to resist the joyous dance. Back in January, he appeared in a skit alongside We Are Toonz, enthusiastically joining in on the fun.

Below you’ll find a few more examples of what is likely to become this year’s “Crank That (Soulja Boy)”:

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.