Democratic Party, Germany, Victoria’s Secret: Your Thursday Briefing

Democratic Party, Germany, Victoria’s Secret: Your Thursday Briefing

(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the , Jalaiah Harmon.

Taylor: I heard about Jalaiah Harmon from a friend in the Dubsmash community right around Christmas. People had cited her Instagram post, and it was clear she had created the dance.

No one online knew her full name or identity, and it took weeks to hunt her and her family down and get in touch with her mother directly. Her mom didn’t even fully realize what Jalaiah had created until I called her at work.

Shira: How would you explain these dance performance apps like Dubsmash to an alien new to our planet? (Or, say, a writer whose musical tastes are stuck in early-2000s ska bands?)

Taylor: Apps like Dubsmash, TikTok and Funimate let you post videos set to music or with special effects. Dance challenges — short 15-second pieces of choreography — are very popular on these apps.

Shira: How do Jalaiah and her family feel now about her very online kind of fame?

Taylor: They’re very excited and overwhelmed. Jalaiah was in Chicago this weekend to perform at halftime at the N.B.A. All-Star Game. She got to meet and collaborate with Charli D’Amelio, a TikTok star who helped popularize the dance. Jalaiah and Charli hit it off immediately. Kim Kardashian posted a video of Jalaiah doing the dance to Instagram. It’s been a whirlwind!

Shira: Taylor, can you do the Renegade? Can you show us?

Taylor: I’m in my 30s and so I don’t think my joints can move like that anymore. For anyone interested, Jalaiah posted a slow-motion tutorial on Instagram.

(This conversation has been edited and originally appeared in “Wait…,” a Times newsletter about how technology and celebrity are changing our lives.)

That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Chris

Thank you
Mark Josephson and Chris Harcum provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at

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