All She Wants to Do Is Dance. Now TikTok Thinks She's a Serial Killer

On Nov. 11, Sabrina Prater, a contractor from outside of Flint, Michigan, put up a video of herself in a basement dancing to a remix of Shania Twain’s “Any Man of Mine.” In most respects, it was similar to lots of other content posted on the platform: a low-fi, poorly lit video of someone dancing semi-suggestively to a trending sound. But the video went massively viral, racking up an astonishing 22 million views. Other users started stitching it, mostly editing themselves into the video dancing bizarrely, poking fun at the dilapidated setting and Prater’s appearance. (On TikTok, Prater previously identified as a “male [who’s] been dressing up since I was little”; she recently changed her bio to read, “I’ve come out completely. I’m a woman, girl; go by her and she!”).

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This is, in itself, not entirely usual; it’s not uncommon for people on TikTok to post a video in earnest and then unwittingly start a trend, with others interpreting the original in a completely different (and not always entirely generous) light. In some ways, such collaboration and interpolation is baked into the function of the app, which allows users to put their own spin on viral content and present it without its original context fairly quickly. That’s basically what happened the first time Prater’s dance video blew up on the platform: “The jokes weren’t great. They were obviously at the expense of an impoverished person,” says Dax, a TikTok creator who watched the evolution of Prater’s content going viral. “But they weren’t taking it out on Sabrina directly. It seemed like regular TikTok shenanigans.”

What happened next, however, took a light-hearted — if not somewhat mean-spirited — trend to an entirely new and troublesome level.

#duet with @infernumasylum y’all know we stepping out this wednesday 🤌🏽 @merekhaa

♬ original sound – Faithfullyfit