The Man Behind the Effortless, Viral Grooves


“That’s what’s really cool about what he does,” said Joshua Lloyd-Watson of Jungle, known professionally as J Lloyd. “He makes everybody want to do it, and believe they can do it. I certainly don’t dance, but I think I can, when I watch the videos.”

Latukolan, 31, may be behind multiple viral sensations, but he has little interest in generating social media buzz. “The TikTok generation, I have no idea what that is about,” he said, laughing. And he’s not caught up in the churn of the commercial music industry. After a brief time in Los Angeles, he now lives in Amsterdam, not far from where he grew up, and closer to the European art scenes that frequently inspire him.

“The music we get exposed to over here, the dance we get exposed to — I think that helps me come from a high art perspective, from a more theatrical perspective,” he said in a video interview. “I didn’t want to be the usual L.A. choreographer working for L.A. artists. I missed this different artistic energy I feel here, which seems more authentic to me.”

That focus on authenticity has, in turn, made him only more popular in a social media culture with little patience for phonies. Though he says he doesn’t understand TikTok, his account has more than 172,000 followers.

Latukolan was raised in a quiet Dutch town, finding solace and color in dance and movies. “I was just a kid on the street, dancing with the other kids I grew up with,” he said. From an early age he was making no-budget dance films with his friends, honing his freestyle skills and learning how to create choreography that could move with the camera. “Dance and film, both are moving images,” he said, “so they felt connected to me.”



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