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The Nae Nae (/ˈn n/) is a hip-hop dance that involves placing one arm in the air and swaying from side to side. The Atlanta hip hop group We Are Toonz is credited for inventing the phrase with their hit song "Drop That NaeNae" in 2013.[1][2][3] The dance was based on a character from the 1990s sitcom Martin.[1][2] In the series, Martin Lawrence cross-dressed to play Sheneneh Jenkins, an exaggerated, sassy “ghetto girl”.[4] The group member Callamar stated in an interview with Billboard, “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.”[1][2][3] In one interview, Martin Lawrence stated he was “flattered” by the dance.[5]

A man doing the "Nae Nae"

Throughout 2014, the song achieved widespread popularity on social media such as Vine, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.[1][3] It has also been performed as a celebratory dance at collegiate and professional sporting events.[1][6]

In 2015, American rapper Silentó released his debut single "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" which also included the Nae Nae along with other dance moves, appearing in viral videos and mainstream media.[4][7]

Numerous celebrities have been covered by the social and mainstream media when they performed the dance, including Jeremy Lin and Stephen Curry,[8] Dwight Howard,[1] Lance Moore,[1] TLC,[1] John Wall,[6] Pharrell Williams,[6] Miley Cyrus,[9] and J. J. Watt.[10] The video game NBA 2K16 allows players to dance the Nae Nae.[11] Fifth Harmony also mentioned the dance move in their song "BO$$".

Then-President of the United States Barack Obama publicly praised a Washington, D.C. police officer who did the dance with a teenager in October 2015.[12]

2010s hip-hop dance trends

Similar dance trends include:


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Ramirez, Rauly (2014-01-27). "New Hip-Hop Dance Craze: 'Drop That #NaeNae'". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  2. ^ a b c Thomas, Jaia (2014-04-11). "Who Legally Owns The NaeNae?". UPTOWN Magazine. Archived from the original on 2015-09-28. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  3. ^ a b c Fitzgerald, Trent (2014-01-29). "'Drop That #NaeNae' Sparks New Dance Craze". The Boombox. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  4. ^ a b "Meet Silento, The 17-Year-Old Who Has The Nation Whippin' And Nae Nae-Ing". Vibe. 2015-07-02. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  5. ^ The Chicago Tribune (2014-08-04). "Martin Lawrence comments on Nae Nae dance craze with Kelsey Grammer". Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  6. ^ a b c Caramanica, Jon (2014-03-21). "A Dance Spreads Joy for Mercer". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  7. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (2015-07-09). "So You Know You Can't Dance: Watch Silento 'Watch Me' Do The Whip/Nae Nae". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  8. ^ Waxman, Olivia B. (2015-09-24). "Watch Jeremy Lin Do the 'Nae Nae' with Stephen and Riley Curry". Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  9. ^ Hope, Clover (2014-10-31). "Miley Is Doing the Nae Nae Dance All Wrong". Jezebel. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  10. ^ Schilken, Chuck (2014-10-10). "J.J. Watt has improved at the Nae Nae, which really isn't saying much". Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  11. ^ Whitacre, Jake (2015-09-25). "NBA 2K16 will let you dance your heart out". Retrieved 2015-09-27.
  12. ^ Iyengar, Rishi (October 30, 2015). "D.C. Policewoman Who 'Danced Off' With Teenagers Praised by President Obama". TIME. Time Inc. Retrieved October 31, 2015.