Black creatives will go unrecognized no longer!
TikTok creator Keara Wilson just received the copyright to her viral #SavageChallenge dance, The Grio reports.
More than a year ago, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Keara Wilson created a dance to rapper Megan The Stallion’s hit song “Savage.” The dance quickly went viral, morphing into the #SavageChallenge that would take the internet by storm and leave everyone trying to learn Wilson’s moves, including celebrities like Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, and Megan Thee Stallion, the song’s creator.
Recently, the Ohio native was honored at a dinner for Black, indigenous, and people of color creators, hosted by Logitech officials and celebrity choreographer JaQuel Knight. Wilson learned that Logitech and Knight had partnered to get her dance copyrighted, alongside ten other BIPOC creators. The copyrights were submitted through the creation of labanotation, a method used for writing down dance steps. Wilson is among the first six creators to have her steps approved.
She took to TikTok to share a video of her and Knight performing her #SavageChallenge choreography on the red carpet of the event, captioned, “Thank you so much!… Savage Dance is officially COPYRIGHTED! I own my dance.”
the ONE & only…. @jaquelknight Thank you Thank you so much! & @logitech ❤️ Savage Dance is officially COPYRIGHTED! i own my dance ‼️
Knight is the brains behind famous choreography works such as Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” and her Black Is King and Homecoming projects. The veteran dancer said he is excited to help young creators obtain ownership and protect their creations.
“The JK Foundation was ultimately started to provide a place of support for dancers (during an extremely fragile time in the pandemic, nonetheless) and to put the power back in the artists’ hands – not just for myself, but for the next JaQuel Knight. For all of the little boys and girls who look like me…The foundation’s hope is to impact, encourage and inspire the next generation of artists and build a community that supports each other,” said Knight.
Also honored at the event alongside Wilson were Young Deji, creator of “The Woah” dance, Fullout Cortland, choreographer of Doja Cat’s “Say So” performance at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, and the Nae Nae Twins, creator of the “Savage Remix” dance. Alongside Chloe Arnold, choreographer of the “Salute a Legend” Syncopated Ladies’ tribute to Prince with Mya Johnson and Chris Cotter, creators of the “Up” dance to Cardi B’s song of the same name. In attendance for the honors was musical superstar will.i.am and iconic choreographer Debbie Allen.
The honors come on the heels of a strike from Black TikTok creators who have claimed that the platform is marginalizing and shutting them out of potential earnings. Knight is looking to help creators reclaim their power, using copyrights to ensure that creators receive credit and payment for their choreography. According to a statement, the U.S. Copyright Office receives less than 20 applications a year for choreographed works.
“I am so inspired by this incredible group of choreographers and am so excited to be able to share this historic moment with them as we move toward real change in the commercial music and entertainment industries,” Knight said.
Photo Courtesy of @queen.kekeeee/Instagram/Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images