With the entry barrier for video production lower than ever due to technology and social networks, cultural trends spread faster than ever before. Every day on Vine, song and dance come together in unprecedented ways, six seconds at a time.
It all started when Eugene Maima, an 18-year-old student who studies pre-med at Syracuse University, created a beat using the classic 1985 Super Mario Bros. theme song, chopping the original melody and adding a heavier kick to give it a hip-hop sound. He then added his own vocals over the track, rapping about other popular dance trends on Vine like the Nae Nae.
“As a producer, I’m all about making stuff people will be able to enjoy. I’m not really trying to limit it to one statistic,” Maima tells Billboard. “With the Mario beat, after hearing the song for the first time in a long time and feeling nostalgic, I thought, ‘Why not bring it back so that people are able to hear it again?'”
Maima uploaded a Vine of him dancing to the beat that caught the attention of Caleb Reyes, a 19-year-old professional dancer from Levittown, Pennsylvania, whose dance career started in 2004.
“Once I had seen You Got Served, I always wanted to dance like Omarion,” Reyes tells Billboard. “Ever since then, I just taught myself.”
Reyes took to Vine with his self-taught “animation-pop” style of dance after discovering AmyMarie Gaertner, arguably the most popular dancer on the platform with more than 3.2 million followers to her name.
One day, he discovered a Vine of Eugene dancing to his self-produced Super Mario beat and decided to re-create the dance in his own style, embellishing the beginning by adding a spin move and returning to that position by the end.
“It wasn’t until Caleb started adding his moves in that everyone started doing it,” admits Maima.
According to Reyes, his dance took off immediately, netting thousands of views within just a few hours. In the days that followed, users like KIDRL, Mikayla Bryant and Lexi Vondrak used Vine to re-create Caleb’s interpretation, spreading the dance to their respective networks.
A few weeks later, its popularity would soar through the roof after 21-year-old AlliCattt re-created the dance for her 2.1 million followers.
Now, Caleb Reyes’ dance to Eugene The Dream’s track has reached millions of followers and been re-created by countless users on the platform.
“Dance is one way for people to express themselves, and what makes it cool is that you only have six seconds,” says Reyes. “If you’re able to be creative enough to make something up in six seconds and keep doing it to maintain fans, that’s what makes it big.”