ATEEZ, Street Man Fighter’s Vata and the New Thing - Say My Name dance plagiarism controversy

Today we unveil the happenings of the most hot debate right now in the K-pop choreography land involving boy group ATEEZ.

Updated on Oct 13, 2022   |  03:46 PM IST  |  494.1K
ATEEZ: courtesy of KQ Entertainment, Street Man Fighter poster: courtesy of Mnet
ATEEZ, Street Man Fighter

Zico’s song New Thing aka ‘??’ is the latest viral song with a trending choreography that has been adopted by multiple K-pop groups for its dance challenge. A lot of the most popular K-pop groups have been trying it out including members of TOMORROW X TOGETHER, ENHYPEN, NCT 127, NCT Dream, WayV, ITZY, and more. The fun beats of the song as well as the moves have seen a global trend being made out of it.

Street Man Fighter:
Interestingly, while the song credits for ‘New Thing’ go to soloist Zico, the choreography credits are currently under debate. Vata from team We Dem Boyz is a contestant on the ongoing survival reality program ‘Street Man Fighter’, the male version of the famed dance crew program ‘Street Woman Fighter’ with the host as KANGDANIEL and BoA, Super Junior’s Eunhyuk and 2PM’s Wooyoung acting as judges.

Vata, a dancer, has been accused of plagiarizing one of the dance steps in the choreography. Known as the ‘traveling motion’, the move was first observed by fans of the reality program who upon seeing it in K-pop boy group ATEEZ’s Say My Name choreography expressed their surprise, unknowingly making it seem as if the creators had instead been responsible for ‘copying’. Soon, it became a hot debate online where many let it be known that it was indeed first seen in the boy group’s song rather than being an original in New Thing.

ATEEZ member Wooyoung got himself involved in the equation during a show. Their song The Real has a section where the members often perform freestyle steps and during their show in Daegu, one of the audience members saw Wooyoung doing a ‘biting’ action which is known to be a denotation of ‘copying’ by street style dancers, following by the dance step under scrutiny. The back dancers also followed the ATEEZ member’s action and it was quickly noted by onlookers.

Say My Name:
Things got heated further when one of the original creators for the Say My Name choreography shared their opinion. Choreographer Anze Skrube took to his Instagram to share his opinions. He reposted posts written about the alleged ‘copying’ where he as well as Vata were tagged. Soon after, he went on to post a video on his Instagram to clarify his stance on the issue.

“There is a difference between being inspired by a move and taking a whole sequence of moves. And this is what happened in this case. This particular sequence was choreographed by Josh Smith at the end of 2018 and came out at the beginning of 2019.” He continued, “If you get inspired by something, the least you can do is credit the creators.", asking for proper credit for the move to Josh Smith, Anze Skrube, and Johnny Erasme, who were responsible for the Say My Name choreography released in 2019.



Multiple parties are now involved in the controversy bringing further attention to the move, as well as putting a stop to the K-pop artists originally hopping on the dance challenge. Vata is yet to respond to any allegations, the same going for his team. On the other hand, Mnet- the broadcasting channel where ‘Street Man Fighter’ airs every week has commented that they are working to figure out their stand on the matter.

Fans of ATEEZ are demanding an apology while some are also claiming that it's a common move and can be imitated to be put in anyone’s choreography. The leader of We Dem Boyz or WDBZ, has not shared his views on the allegations while the show continues to broadcast every Tuesday.


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After completing her engineering, Ayushi followed her passion for journalism and has been a professional writer for o...

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Credits: KQ Entertainment, Mnet

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