Why Americans Love a Dance Challenge

From the Early 20th-Century Grizzly Bear to Lizzo’s Latest, Social Dancing Has Always Been Silly and Subversive

In what already feels like a different year—but was really just a few weeks ago—Reese Witherspoon, Selena Gomez, and just about every single person on the internet was posting a video of themselves trying to do the Lizzo “About Damn Time” dance, first credited to TikTok personality Jaeden Gomez.

Lizzo has a lightning-in-the-bottle talent for capturing catharsis in a song, and the moves to this early summer anthem—clap your hands three times to the words “About! Damn! Time!”—are pure fun, even if you’re bungling the choreo, or for that matter, the …