TikTok Becomes Platform for Red Bull’s Global Street Dance Competition

By Thomas Price Friday, November 6, 2020

Of the many things that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has taken away from the people is large public gatherings such as concerts, sports games, and even crowded bars. In the meantime, people have been doing everything they can to replicate those experiences as best as possible while still maintaining social distancing and safety measures. This has manifested itself in the form of live-streamed concerts, limited capacity or virtual fans, and drinking over video chat or in very small groups for most people. Considering the nature of these public events, their temporary replacements have not been too bad. However, when it comes to something like a dance battle, it becomes more difficult to do well. Yet Red Bull’s Dance Your Style is not giving up on 2020. Instead, they have chosen to partner with TikTok in order to do a virtual competition of sorts. How exactly will this work, and what can be expected from this event in general?

Red Bull’s Event, Dance Your Style

Dance Your Style has been held by Red Bull the previous two years leading into 2020. The basic premise of the event is a one-on-one dance battle between two different competitors. There are no requirements for formal dance training in order to participate. The format consists of a DJ mixing different types of music and beats while the two competitors continually adapt to it, showing off their range and variety. The winner of each head-to-head battle is completely decided by the crowd in attendance, who vote using red or blue cards. In 2019, Dance Your Style had over 50 different events taking place in more than 30 countries. The world final took place in Paris, with the United States final taking place in Las Vegas. While this event was a major success, the reliance on crowd voting and the public atmosphere has made it near impossible to happen in the same capacity in 2020. So, instead of having in-person events, Red Bull has instead decided to partner with TikTok in order to hold a sort of virtual version of Dance Your Style. While clearly, the event will be different, Red Bull is hoping to maintain the essence of the event despite not being in person.

Red Bull and TikTok’s Partnership

The partnership between the two companies will utilize TikTok’s music and recording capabilities in order for contestants to send in auditions. The new format will be slightly different. If someone wants to enter, they must create a TikTok account, upload a video of themselves dancing to “Get Loose Now” by the Black Eyed Peas, and then tag the Red Bull Dance account along with adding the hashtag, #redbulldanceyourstyle. The major difference this year, despite everything being through TikTok, is the use of judges in the early rounds. In fact, the public will not be able to decide on winners until the top 16. The judges for the early rounds will be Majid Kessab, a hip-hop dancer and choreographer from Germany, Ibuki Imata, a Japanese freestyler and global performer, and Leon “Kida the Great” Burns, a hip hop dancer and actor from the United States most well known for being a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance.” While this event may not perfectly replicate the feeling and vibes of an in-person event, having it be on TikTok may actually lead to more participants and total viewers. It will not have to be city or country-specific, but instead a completely global event where basically anyone with internet access will be able to compete at a high level with the rest of the field.

Final Conclusions

No events will be the same in a virtual space as opposed to in person. Red Bull understands that certainly. However, for events such as theirs, this may be the next best thing. With more accessibility, everyone from around the world will be able to enter, dance, and watch. Of course, the real-time head-to-head competition is sorely lacking, but it appears that Red Bull and TikTok have found a format that will keep the spirit of the event as alive as they possibly can.

About the Author


Headshot for author Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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