Jalaiah Harmon is an American dancer, content creator, and social media influencer. She is best known as the choreographer of the viral dance routine known as The Renegade. She originally made it for Funimate and Instagram, but it was later appropriated by popular TikTokers like Charli D’Amelio. When it was later revealed that Harmon was the original creator, she gained much mainstream media attention. Since then, she has set up a TikTok account of her own and amassed a large following across various social media platforms.
Childhood & Early Life
Jalaiah Harmon was born on August 28, 2005, in Fayetteville, Georgia, USA. She currently resides in Atlanta with her family. Her mother, Stefanie, is very supportive of her. When she saw that Jalaiah was disappointed for not getting credit for The Renegade, she advised her daughter to create another dance move. Both Stefanie and her husband are teachers.
Harmon is part of Dance411, a local dance studio in the suburbs of Atlanta, where she receives training in hip-hop, ballet, lyrical, jazz, tumbling and tap. She previously took classes at the Sky Dance Academy.
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Jalaiah Harmon has been active on social media for a while. The oldest post on her Instagram page dates back to November 2018. At some point, she started posting dance videos on relatively smaller short-video-sharing websites like Funimate and Dubsmash.
In September 2019, Harmon, with the help of her friend and fellow social star, Kaliyah Davis, choreographed a short dance routine to the chorus of the track ‘Lottery’ by rapper K-Camp. According to her, although the choreography did not take much time, she did it after coming home from school and before leaving for her dance classes, it was quite difficult. She used various bits and pieces of other viral dance moves, including wave and whoa. She then made a video of herself and uploaded it on both Funimate and Instagram.
Initially, it garnered a modest response. A month later, popular content creator Global.jones first introduced the routine to TikTok. Popular TikToker, Charli D’Amelio, made a video as well. Soon, others followed suit. But not even one of them mentioned Harmon as the original creator of the routine.
As The Renegade became a viral sensation, Jalaiah Harmon tried to establish herself as its choreographer, often leaving a comment on videos and requesting the respective user to give her credit. Eventually, Barrie Segal, global head of content for Dubsmash, reached out to her and introduced her to Taylor Lorenz, a reporter at the New York Times.
Lorenz’s article on Harmon, The Renegade, and the appropriation of the latter by popular TikTok users was published on February 13, 2020. It drew considerable media attention to the overall problem of bigger influencers using the content of small ones without explicit permission and sparked a much-needed conversation on the subject.
As for Harmon, she collaborated with K Camp in a video that shows her performing The Renegade with the Atlanta-based hip-hop artist sitting behind her, shortly after the New York Times article came out. She has also made an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show and danced during the NBA All-Star game in Chicago.
It was during All-Star weekend that she met Charli D’Amelio for the first time. According to Stefanie Harmon, everything is fine between the girls. D’Amelio, along with fellow social star Addison Easterling, even made a Renegade video with Harmon.
Jalaiah Harmon started posting videos on her TikTok page in February 2020. Since then, she has been verified and amassed over 2.6 million fans and more than 20 million total likes.
While Harmon appreciates the tag of an influencer, her biggest passion continues to be dancing. She is currently represented by United Talent Agency.