Jalaiah Harmon

Mar 3, 2020 @ 9:27 EST
Renegade Dance Creator Jalaiah Harmon Net Worth

Had it not been for The New York Times, Jalaiah Harmon wouldn't have been discovered. And while you may see prominent stars like Lizzo, Kourtney Kardashian, David Dobrik,  and Charli D'Amelio [net worth: $4 million] or the whole Hype House dancing to Renegade, people often mistake who the actual creator of the dance really is. Yeah, a 14-year-old Black teen from the modest suburbs of Atlanta, Jalaiah Harmon, created the Renegade dance. It took quite a while to discover though, so people could be forgiven. Credit to D'Amelio for actually spreading it in the first place though.

Born on August 28, 2005 [age 14], in Fayetteville, Georgia, the young talent deserves more credit than one can imagine. All the dance creators, especially Black dancers, need recognition, but people shouldn't single-mindedly start waging online war for the case of it. D'Amelio and many others have finally started to mention credits for the dance moves that they borrow from.

Jalaiah Harmon on the way to her NBA All Star game performance.There's the talent who created 'Renegade'.
Photo Source:
Jalaiah Harmon, Instagram

Being thanked by the song creator, Lottery rapper K Camp is one thing. But when such recognition comes, chances flood for the real talent to make some extra cash off of it so that they could pay off their dance classes or even help around the family. Jalaiah has been a real example of that. Delve into her net worth endeavors below.

Jalaiah's Net Worth of $100,000 Has a Future with Her Dance Career

As of March 2020, Jalaiah Harmon controls a net worth of $100,000, as a dancer and social media influencer. Her Renegade dance alone is the main source, but she has a bigger picture to look at with her career.

Jalaiah Harmon on the streets of her hometown posing a move from her Renegade Dance.Such a low net worth? It's only just the beginning.
Photo Credit: Jill Frank, The New York Times

It's not an underestimation, since, with less than a month of fame, she's not expected to be earning much. But her Instagram profile being verified means she is already getting deals from various brands for her to sponsor themselves in her posts. While she's currently not active on TikTok (she once was), she's on several other similar platforms that also make way for sponsorships. But it's only just the beginning.

In Fact, Jalaiah Is a Professional Dancer, Or Aims to Be One Day

Choreographing a difficult dance move is difficult. It is also one of the reasons Jalaiah needs to be recognized. But she's been training for being a professional dancer for a long time now, and it comes to no surprise she'd create something magical on the way to set a standard.

While still attending the school like an ordinary girl in the Atlanta suburbs, she goes to a dance studio afterward. She gets her lesson and competes in challenges from Sky Dance Academy Studio in her home town. She learns all types of moves — hip-hop, ballet, lyrical, jazz, tumbling and tap.

Jalaiah Harmon teaching her friends the Renegade at the Sky Dance Academy studio, where she takes classes.At Sky Dance Academy Studio, she could well be a teacher.
Photo Credit: Jill Frank, The New York Times

The 14-year-old is also trying to build an online career, studying viral videos, and often collaborating with her friends by even creating her own dance choreography. It was in one of those endeavors that she CREATED the Renegade.

Not that she's got at least some recognition, thanks to the NY Times, she aims to take classes at the prestigious Dance 411 school in Atlanta, while still continuing to post her dance videos on her social media handles.

Jalaiah's Treacherous Path for Obtaining the Credit to the 'Renegade' Dance

While D'Amelio has been referred to as the 'CEO' of the Renegade dance as she gave it the popularity it has today, with even K-pop band Stray Kids performing it, no one knew where it started from. And it's not D'Amelio's fault for not recognizing the creator either. She didn't know because she also saw the dance on some other platform and learned it.

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The story behind the creation of the Renegade dance begins on September 25, 2019, a dancer, from a "part of the young, cutting-edge dance community online that more mainstream influencers co-opt", asked a friend if she would like to create a post together after coming home from school. Jalaiah had met 12-year-old Kaliyah Davis on Instagram.

After listening to Atlanta rapper K-Champ's beat of the song Lottery, she herself choreographed a difficult sequence to the song's chorus, also adding already viral moves like Wave and Whoa. But her own creation was what stood out. The two friends made the video, and Jalaiah posted it to her primary online dance platform, Funimate. She also uploaded her collaboration with Kaliyah on her Instagram page. She had only 20,000 followers back then and initially got 12,000 likes over there.

Watch: The First Renegade Dance: September 26, 2019

In October, a TikTok user @global.jones (❗️Arkansas boy) brought the dance to the platform with a few modifications towards the end. As was the hype, the dance spread like wildfire on TikTok and soon found D'Amelio. The 15-year-old was on such a trajectory at the time that as soon as people saw something on her, it would immediately be the most talked about. But back home, the Renegade dance creator needed credit, despite being happy about the virality of the dance.

I was happy when I saw my dance all over. But I wanted credit for it.

Jalaiah's mother, Stefanie Harmon, also only learned of the fame of her daughter's work. "She told me, 'Mommy, I made a dance and it went viral', " Stefanie stated. "She wasn't kicking and screaming about the fact that she wasn't getting credit. But I could tell it had affected her. I said, 'Why do you care whether you're not getting credit? Just make another one.' "

It's easier said than done. In order to make herself known as the 'Creator of Renegade', she tried a lot. In between her ninth-grade and dance classes, she went online and entered the comment section of the videos including her dance and asked the dancer to tag her. Obviously, she was ignored or laughed at for trying to claim something that they thought wasn't hers.

In a bid to mark her presence among the TikTok community, she also created a TikTok account herself, _.xxolaii, and uploaded a video of herself in front of a green screen, Googling the question "who created the Renegade dance?". Yeah, she was upset on seeing the result that was set straight.

Jalaiah Harmon posing alongside DR. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL.After the fame, with Dr. Shaq.
Photo Source: Jalaiah Harmon, Instagram

Due to the accusation of TikTok using the concept of Dubsmash, people were going at each other in the comments section. It reached a point where people brought up the isolation of Black content creators, which in part is true but should never be used to discuss anything. It's a base for racism. But that doesn't mean people shouldn't acknowledge the creator.

It'll help if users in the comment section could actually tag the ones who deserve credits if they know about it. The dancer themselves wouldn't be aware of it. But since Dubsmash creator, Barrie Segal asked D'Amelio to credit D1 Nayah for her Donut Shop dance, things have changed at least a little (although a TikTok gossip account prompted a flurry of negative comments).

For Jalaiah, it just makes her happy to dance, and she doesn't harbor any ill will towards D'Amelio. In fact, she desires collaboration, a dream already partly come true. Mind you, D'Amelio and certain others have started crediting the dance creators if they actually know where the dance moves came from.

Jalaiah Harmon centered at NBA on TNT with Dr. Shaq, Adam Lefkoe, Candace Parker and Dwyane Wade.Jalaiah Harmon centered at NBA on TNT with Dr. Shaq, Adam Lefkoe, Candace Parker and Dwyane Wade.
Photo Source: Jalaiah Harmon, Instagram

It took a prominent newspaper, The New York Times, to make us aware of Jalaiah (the story is extracted from their piece titled The Original Renegade). Still, there are many people yet to know about it. If you didn't, maybe watch The Ellen DeGeneresShow more often.

Social Media Earnings — Instagram Is the Only Prominent One for Now

The teen dancer is yet to make a mark in the online community, but she's already got verified accounts on Instagram, TikTok and obviously Funimate. Although, you'd find it hard to find her on TikTok. Yeah, she once had about 137,900 followers on her account, _.xoxlaii, and shared the time it got verified on Instagram. But as you can see, she's not active anymore and deleted all her earlier videos. The only one that remains is a Renegade tutorial.

Jalaiah Harmon showing her verified TikTok account.She later had over 1 million followers there, but it might've been too much for her.
Photo Source: Jalaiah Harmon, Instagram

It's not strange to see her off the platform and losing all but 11 followers. Her main focus of choice is Funimate, and you'll see a lot of her moves on Instagram as well (the Funimate videos, of course). The NY Times said she had over 1,700 followers on that platform. She also streams her videos on Dubsmash as well.

For now, Jalaiah is active on Instagram, where she could have brands she gets to sponsor in her posts. But most of them are clips from Funimate. So she could be getting some for her net worth from sponsored posts there as well. She's named her Instagram handle, CREATOR OF RENEGADE???.

With over 60 posts and 389,000 followers on her Instagram account, @jalaiah, she's earned an average of around $1,500 per post from sponsored content. Even if she doesn't have sponsored posts yet, it's only a matter of time.

Harmon's Performed at the NBA All-Star Game, Got $5,000 from Ellen DeGeneres and Collaborated with D'Amelio

For a dance creator with only a month of fame, she's come a long way.

A few days after The New York Times published its article, on February 16, 2020, Jalaiah performed the infamous dance that is her brainchild, in front of thousands during the NBA All-Star game at Chicago's United Center. Everyone there was shocked to find out of the little genius who created Renegade in the first place; they'd not read the New York Times piece.

However, K-Champ himself spread the word two days earlier. He took to Twitter and thanked her for making Lottery "the BIGGEST song in the world," alongside a clip of him with Jalaiah and her 13-year-old friend Skylar jamming it out to the song.

And what's more, the former First Lady, Michelle Obama, herself gave a shoutout to her for her talent.

Within less than two weeks, she got into The Ellen Degeneres Show on February 19, 2020. Upon introduction, she danced her Renegade move alongside Stephen "tWitch" Boss, a hip-hop dancer who also serves as DJ on the hit talk show. As confident as she is with her dance, she was very composed to be in front of a crowd of people; she'd practiced it in the basketball court of course.

Host Ellen DeGeneres then asked how long it took her to complete the choreography. It didn't take long, but the practice thing took longer. "It only took about 5 to 10 minutes, but it took a lot of tries. It was right before dance [class], so I had to really rush."

Then DeGeneres proceeded to give Jalaiah Harmon a gift, a jacket that read "THE ORIGINAL RENEGADE DANCER" on the back. There were little pockets in it with $1,000 inside. With five of them, she received a total of $5,000 from the host.

The NBA game actually only had Charli D'Amelio and Addison Rae Easterling [net worth: $3 million] to make an appearance, but an online rampage brought Jalaiah to the attention and got her into it too. However, the three themselves have met up and actually become friends. While there's still collaboration to come up, the three did the Renegade dance together. Harmon uploaded the clip to her Instagram page. She was excited, of course, just as D'Amelio was to meet her idol, Jennifer Lopez.

There's a lot in store for the jewel that is Jalaiah Harmon. It's only a matter of time we see her in several other endeavors. Her dream job is coming real sooner than she expected it.

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