The #MannequinChallenge started with a few Jacksonville, Fl., high schoolers from Edward H. White High School who decided to share a few of the "weird things" they do with the internet.
In an exclusive interview with Inverse via DM, one of the teens, Emili (@thvtmelanin_) said, “Me and my friends are always doing weird things. One day I just went to the front of the class and stood there. That’s when my friend A’laynah said ‘Hey, you look like a mannequin.’ Then my friend Bre’Onna and Jasmine joined and we started doing all these crazy poses. These days there are so many ‘challenges’ on social media, which I guess made my friend Deryk suggest that we make it a challenge and basically we just added him as well as our friend A’laynah and Jalen to do it with us. Most of the poses came from typical poses that you would see in the mall or in Old Navy.”
Teens being teens lead to the viral sensation that's gone from high school classrooms to traveling on planes with Hillary Clinton's campaign. And now, that challenge has made its way to The Root 100 gala, a swanky celebration of black excellence across various fields like politics, activism, entertainment, education, the arts and more. Watch what happens when we freeze the entire gala on the dance floor: