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Memes with mom: Families make online dance videos to pass time in lockdown

Christian Ocampo knew he needed someone with "killer heels" and a runway-worthy walk to star as the titular femme fatale in his "Lady Corona" music video.

Christian Ocampo knew he needed someone with "killer heels" and a runway-worthy walk to star as the titular femme fatale in his "Lady Corona" music video.

Naturally, he turned to his 59-year-old mother, Lilian Ocampo, to play the viral villain in his original song about the COVID-19 pandemic.

He cheered her on as she strutted menacingly outside of their Toronto home in white stilettos while wearing a coronavirus-shaped cardboard head with sunglasses.

It wasn't long before his father and 83-year-old grandmother were cast as backup performers in the iPhone-shot production. 

The YouTube video shows the Ocampos grooving to the disco-inflected beat as they band together to defeat "Lady Corona" with healthy hygiene.

The Ocampos are one of many Canadian families making online videos to pass the time while cooped up together in COVID-19 lockdown.

Christian Ocampo said the cross-generational collaboration gave him a chance to capture all of the "magical moments" that sometimes get overlooked when spending time with your relatives.

It also helped the professional party dancer see how his sense of showmanship runs in the family.

His grandmother loves to perform at church, and his father was also a dancer when he was younger.

"It felt good to say this is my family. We dance. We sing. We do performances," he said. 

Some families are showing off their moves by taking part in dance challenges on the social media platform TikTok.

Blair Hoffman will jump at any excuse to spend more time with his 15-year-old daughter, Julia. And if that means being the "butt of the joke" in a TikTok challenge, he's happy to oblige.

The father-daughter duo said they shot more than a dozen takes of their toe-tapping "foot shake" dance before finding a 13-second clip worthy of the teen's social media feed.

"It's not every day you just go take videos of your parents," Julia Hoffman said. "But it makes everyone else laugh too. It's just fun to watch."

The Hoffmans hope to tackle a new TikTok challenge every week. Blair Hoffman said he lets Julia pick the routines, but asks that they take "baby steps" before working up to the more complex choreography.

"I think the benefit of this self-isolation, if you will, is getting to spend more time together," he said.

"This fun stuff is a way to kind of alleviate all this sort of negativity that's going on out there."

Christina Ciddio, a Toronto photographer and beauty guru, said she and her brother have teamed up to try these routines, and had hoped to feature the whole family in a future dance video.

As the COVID-19 crisis has reunited families under the same roof, Ciddio said some TikTokers are taking the "Blinding Lights" challenge to the next level by teaching their parents the fleet-footed choreography to the Weeknd song.

Ciddio said her father's ornery cameos on her Instagram have always been a hit with her followers. But convincing her dad to jump, kick and wave his arms in a TikTok video turned out to be a tough sell.

Ultimately, the fancy footwork proved to be too much of a challenge for the Ciddio clan, she said, so they've decided to stick to what they do best: having fun in each other's company.

"In the world that we're living in, everyone is so torn apart," she said.  

"It's fun to get involved with your parents and show that even though the boomer generation is aging ... and they say all these negative things about our generation, they can still have fun and be a part of the current culture."

"Lady Corona" music video:

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 2, 2020.

Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press

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