The 20-year-old said he wasn’t the most popular student before gaining an online following before the pandemic.
“I used to get bullied a lot because I was trying to fit in,” Kirton told The Delaware Online. “I was like a nerd.”
One day, his follower count jumped from 15,000 to 100,000 in less than 24 hours.
“Even though I was getting attention, people were thinking I was corny because I was doing TikTok,” he said.
Kirton, who goes by @SmooveStevo on TikTok, now boasts over 1.7 million followers. He started getting attention for doing the Jubi Slide, created by his friend Jouberson Joseph. This is how he first went viral.
Kirton posted a video doing the dance move on the beach and garnered 94 million views. He started recreating the video in different settings — gaining momentum on the social media platform.
Kirton’s love for dancing started young when his mother enrolled him in hip-hop lessons. The content creator said he doesn’t remember most dances but “still had rhythm.”
The 20-year-old also started another dance trend — getting “sturdy” by keeping a foot on the floor while the other is in the air. This caught the attention of Kai Cenat, who reacted to the dance in one of his streams. Since then, the streamer has regularly recreated the dance for his followers and taught his guests the dance moves.
Kirton’s signature dance was also adopted by Lil Nas X. The artist included it in the choreography to perform his hit single “Industry Baby” at the 2022 Grammy Awards.