By Jaia A. Thomas
My first encounter with the NaeNae was on Instagram. A high school classmate posted an Instagram video of her wobbling through the house waving her hands through the air and tagged it #thenaenae. I thought, “Who, what and where is a NaeNae?”
As per usual, I was late to the latest teen trend. As We Are Toonz so aptly states in their “Drop That NaeNae” song “NaeNae that’s the new thing poppin.”
The NaeNae is the brainchild of We Are Toonz, a teen quintet (Calvin Lamar Glass Jr, Jalen Ware, Kavin Bing-Gardner, Christopher Major, and Tavin Bing-Gardner) hailing from Georgia and Florida. The dance is loosely based on Martin Lawrence’s Sheneneh Jenkins character from the 90’s sitcom Martin. Group member Calvin Lamar Glass Jr – aka Callamar – explains, “It’s really just based on a ratchet girl in the club dancing kind of funny and the best girl to describe it is Sheneneh from Martin.” Since its debut, The NaeNae music video has garnered over 6 million views on YouTube and everyone from Dwight Howard to John Wall has shared their renditions of the dance. But, who legally owns the NaeNae? And, are dance routines protectable under the law?