Social Media Star of the Week: Ricky Pond
On March 29, 2020, American graphic designer Ricky Pond’s teenage kids – Audrey, 18, and Dallin, 15 – created a TikTok account for him out of sheer boredom. Then, the 47-year-old, who is quite the competitive clogger (a folk dance in the US), uploaded a video of himself dancing.
An hour later, Ricky had three times the views and four times the number of likes than Audrey’s post. Next, he dived into Bollywood numbers. This move sparked Bollywood song suggestions from Indians living in the US and the request to switch to Instagram.
When it seemed like TikTok may get banned in the US, Dallin created Ricky’s Instagram account in December, and in five weeks, the number of followers rose from 600 to 152K. “People thought ‘let’s get this crazy American to dance to this’,” he laughs during our Zoom call along with Audrey and Dallin, who feature in many of Ricky’s Reels.
Ricky’s been clogging since he was all of eight. He recalls dancing with his siblings to Michael Jackson songs and doing the country swing dance with his wife Roxane. The kids would spend hours playing the Just Dance game, “and kick my a** in them!” laughs Ricky.
Now, having danced to songs like Chaiyya Chaiyya and Ghungroo, the family says that the most difficult part was to get used to dancing to the beats of the songs, and getting the hand movements in sync with the footwork. “He takes time to get the switch between the dance moves. We have to show those to him and we pick up the footwork from him which he’s good at,” the kids say.
Has his social media fame made him go easy on their kids spending time on it? “Earlier, when the kids would come and show me videos on TikTok, I’d tell them ‘this is so stupid, don’t waste your time on it’,” he says.
The Ponds have also discovered an army of loyal and protective followers. When Ricky’s bestie commented on his Jeene Ke Hain Chaar Din video saying, ‘I may have to unfollow you’, followers started defending Ricky, who had to intervene.
They want to visit India and watch a few Bollywood movies too!
Who should be the next HT Brunch Social Media Star Of The Week? Nominate using the hashtag #BrunchSocialMediaStarOTW or email firstname.lastname@example.org
From HT Brunch, January 24, 2021
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