If you look over at your children and their friends, are they hunched over their phones and tablets watching YouTube videos? Younger generations love watching YouTube content, from educational STEAM YouTube channels to dancers. Let’s explore why kids love watching dance videos on YouTube and how you can bond with them over this content.
Why Do Kids Love Dance Videos?
It might come as a surprise to some parents that dance videos online are so popular, but dance videos have soared across the web ever since its inception and they connect with kids with all types of interests. Here at Ozobot, we consider choreography to be a form of coding–a series of commands for your arms, legs, hips, and head. Knowing why kids love dance videos can help you better understand their interests.
Kids Are Highly Influenced By Their Peers
Watching and sharing dance videos serves as a form of social currency, which is very important to young kids, tweens, and teens. “We post and share content on social media to be perceived by others in a certain way,” tech writer Carissa Lintao explains. “Because we care so much about what people think of us, it affects our online behavior.”
Kids who watch these videos share them with others, making dance moves increasingly popular with each share. No one wants to be left out of the latest dance craze.
Sharing Art Creates Emotional Bonds
Dance videos, in particular, bring us closer together in the same way that watching movies and stand-up routines create psychological connections. “We love watching a performance in a crowd and picking up on other audience members’ reactions and emotions,” says Jennifer Stahl, editor in chief at Dance Magazine. “Experiencing a show together helps us bond.”
When kids watch dance videos and share them with their friends, everyone gets to share a collective reaction.
Dance Videos Allow Kids to Become Participants
Watching dance videos is only the first part. Kids often take it another step by creating their own videos and uploading them to YouTube.
For example, in early 2018, people across the web took up the “Dance like an Alien,” trying to mimic the moves of a computerized Martian. Many kids even dressed in green to mimic the alien they were dancing along with, reports the team at Sponsokit.
These dance videos have real impact outside of YouTube. Shawn Setaro and Shanté Cosme at Complex report that a viral dance challenge started by Instagram star Shiggy propelled Drake’s “In My Feelings” to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. People also tweeted about the song 2.3 million times within a few weeks.
YouTube channels featuring young dancers are fun, but there’s a whole economy around them, too.
Who Are Some of the Best Kid Dancers?
If you want to watch dance videos with your kids, or see the type of talented creators they’re following on YouTube, check out this list. Here are just a handful of amazing kid and teen dancers taking over the internet with their moves.
- Merrick Hanna is a 12-year-old dancer who performed on America’s Got Talent. He still creates YouTube videos for his fans and performs live, sharing his love of dance as he goes. He has created Minecraft dance videos and Fortnite videos, and even had a dance-off with Evo!
- Aidan Prince’s dance videos have been shared on more than 80 websites and have over 70 million views. He has been featured on The Ellen Show, The Voice, and Radio Disney Music Awards. He has also worked with a variety of celebrity musicians. Most of the videos are only a few minutes long, and kids can try to dance like “BAHBOY.”
- Russell Horning is known by many as The Backpack Kid. He shot to fame for stealing the spotlight on Katy Perry’s Saturday Night Live performance. He has almost 400,000 subscribers tuning in to see what the latest dance is and to try and mimic it.
If you’ve ever seen your kids flossing or trying the latest dance moves, they likely picked them up from these performers.
How Your Child Can Create Their Own Channel
If your child loves dance videos, you can encourage them to make their own to share with friends. There are a few steps you can take to make sure this process is safe for all the kids involved.
Meghan Cooper of JaMonkey encourages her kids to pick nicknames to use on the internet, and even uses nicknames for her kids in her blog. Picking nicknames for your channel is a great way to start a discussion about internet safety. You can also emphasize the importance of never sharing your first or last name, city, school, or other identifier on the web.
Check Your Settings
Noelle at TurboFuture has an in-depth guide for setting up a safe account for kids. This includes profile, channel and security settings plus other tips to keep the account secure.
Monitor the Comments
Getting the channel set up is only the starting point for creating a kids dance YouTube channel. Parents need to be aware of the time commitment they’re taking on. “The key to ensuring children stay safe online is to stay involved,” writes Kali Muir at FamilyTech. “Starting a YouTube channel requires a time commitment from both parent and child and continues to do so long after it’s up and running.”
Some parents help kids by editing videos so they can keep an eye on content, while others monitor the comments to make sure their children aren’t exposed to dangerous messages.
Your kids have fun with their friends watching, sharing, and creating YouTube content. You can encourage their creative expression and curiosity while bonding as a family at the same time.
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