In My Feelings challenge, rapper Drake-inspired dance craze, arrives in Hong Kong, sparking safety worries
Thousands worldwide have taken challenge to the extreme by recording themselves jumping from moving cars and busting their moves as vehicle travels down the road – sometimes even the drivers
A viral yet controversial dance challenge inspired by a hit song from Canadian rapper Drake has begun catching on in Hong Kong, with local videos showing daredevils jumping from slow-moving cars and strutting their stuff on the street before hopping back in.
A growing number of social media users around the world have been posting clips of their response to the In My Feelings challenge, also known as the Kiki challenge, which asks people to dance to part of Drake’s song.
But the innocent exercise has become dangerous after thousands took to recording themselves jumping from moving cars and boogieing as their vehicle travelled down the road – sometimes even the drivers.
The dance was pioneered by online personality Shiggy, who posted a video of himself dancing to the song in a street. His clip went viral, spurring a spate of celebrity imitations from the likes of Will Smith, Odell Beckham Jnr, Ciara, and DJ Khaled.
The hashtag #InMyFeelingsChallenge has taken social media by storm since the song was released on July 10.
But the craze looks set to become a safety issue following media reports of one challenger being hit by another car and one running into a lamp post. A teenager in Iowa was left with a fractured skull when her stunt went wrong, while other clips showing dancers falling and getting injured in failed attempts also flooded social media.
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No fatalities have been reported yet. But the trend has prompted police in some parts of the United States, Europe and Asia to issue warnings against dangerous dance attempts.
And Hong Kong dancers are now also getting in on the act.
On July 22, hip-hop dance teacher and choreographer JM “Justin” Vergara posted a clip to YouTube of his 50-second performance alongside a moving car on a street in Tuen Mun.
Vergara, 29, works at a studio belonging to Christy Chau Yinn, a member of local girl group Bingo. Chau said Vergara’s clip had received a better-than-expected reaction online and had been viewed more times than his other videos.
“We realised it would look interesting shooting from inside a car. It’s something new,” Chau said.
She was planning a similar stunt with four or five more dancers, but admitted safety was a consideration.
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“You need to find the right place. Of course, you don’t want to do it in a busy street,” she said, adding that quiet areas like the Science Park in Sha Tin could be an option.
Celebrity choreographer Shing Mak was among the first in Hong Kong to publicly take the challenge.
In a 29-second clip posted on his Instagram page on July 23, the former Golden Horse Award nominee was seen dancing at an unknown location. By Saturday the video had clocked up more than 10,000 views.
A post shared by 麥秋成 Shing Mak (@mcshing) on Jul 23, 2018 at 12:16am PDT
Mak was nominated for a Golden Horse Award in 2013 for The Way We Dance, a cinematic celebration of hip-hop dance culture.
A day after Mak’s clip appeared, local dancer and singer Yanki Din posted a 45-second video of impromptu freestyle jazz and funk dance at a parking area in Tin Shui Wai.
The 24-year-old said: “When I’m listening to a song which really makes me feel like dancing, I might just stop the car, get out and dance.”
But safety had been considered, she said, with the video involving a driver, a cameraman and another passenger assigned to monitor the road.
Legislator James To Kun-sun, a lawyer, said making these videos was irresponsible unless the dancers and drivers could be absolutely sure their stunts would not affect road users.
Those involved could be accused of careless driving or walking, he said.
“Unreasonable road use that affects the efficiency of the roads will impact the whole of society,” To said, and the resulting congestion would lead to economic losses.
Sha Tin district councillor Evan Siu Hin-hong said: “I encourage people to dance, but if it involves offences against traffic rules or safety issues, it should be stopped.”
Another lawmaker, Roy Kwong Chun-yu, who used to teach jazz and breakdancing, said participants should be aware of safety issues to avoid a tragedy.
Hong Kong police did not comment.