Thousands groove to NDP TikTok dance challenge

(From left) Mrs Jenny Teo and her granddaughter Azalea, persian cat Nala, and Mr Joel Choo and his father Zhu Houren are among some of those who posted videos dancing to the song.
(From left) Mrs Jenny Teo and her granddaughter Azalea, persian cat Nala, and Mr Joel Choo and his father Zhu Houren are among some of those who posted videos dancing to the song.PHOTOS: SCREENGRAB FROM TIKTOK

SINGAPORE - A TikTok dance challenge first uploaded on July 5 to accompany this year's National Day Parade (NDP) theme song has steadily drawn over 3,000 entries on the video sharing app, with everyone from students to local celebrities uploading their high-octane versions of the dance.

The original 30-second clip features the song The Road Ahead, composed by singer-songwriter Linying and music producer Evan Low.

One month later, the challenge is still attracting entries. More than 200 videos of Singapore residents and their pets bopping or flailing to the tune were added to the platform on Thursday (Aug 5).

Some like second-generation artiste Joel Choo, 27, who filmed a rendition with his father, veteran actor Zhu Houren, compared the dance to an exercise routine worthy of a spin class substitute.

He said: "I think the song is great but I think the dance made it better!"

Among the enthusiastic participants is Mrs Jenny Teo, 49, who uses TikTok to bond with her two grandchildren and six children.

Since chancing on the song and dance through her youngest son, the entrepreneur has joined the challenge with videos of her nine-month-old granddaughter Azalea jiggling to the music and another of herself and her 63-year-old husband.

"We wanted it to be a good memory for Azalea, especially since she was born during the pandemic and has not been exposed to many things and places as a result," said Mrs Teo, who discovered TikTok about a year ago.

While her family will again not be able to meet up to watch the parade on television as they always do, they will be celebrating together virtually on Aug 21,when this year's NDP will be held. And these dance challenges have also brought them closer, said Mrs Teo.

"I strongly encourage parents who don't know TikTok to get involved in it and to find out why kids are laughing about videos on it," she added.

Even animals are joining in on the dance challenge, including an eight-year-old Persian cat named Nala.

Said Nala's owner Wennee Ho, 35, who runs TikTok account @nalacatbobafat: "I first saw the video on TikTok of a guy doing it at a bus stop, it was quite hilarious and wanted to join in."

"I can't dance so I asked my boyfriend to do it but he couldn't do it too so I got my cats to do it."

For digital content strategist Loretta Eleanor, 24, hopping in on the trend with her golden retriever Bella at @goldengirlbellagomes was just another way of creating memories with the 7½-month-old puppy.

Part of the success of the original video, noted online K-pop dance instructor Charissa Goh, who has recorded herself surprising her brother and boyfriend by breaking into dance, can be attributed to its simplicity and repetition.

"The song is very upbeat and catchy," said the 27-year-old with 33,100 followers on TikTok account @charissahoo.

Singer-songwriter Jean Goh, 30, who was one of many who parodied the video through exaggerated moves, said: "I think it's always hard to compete with old favourites like Home and Where I Belong, but at least this year it seems like everyone wants to blow off some steam."

Ms Goh, who goes by the monicker Jean Seizure, said it was an unusual way to unite everyone. "You see many people getting onto the trend and in some way fostering community spirit," she added.