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People are left wondering if this '19th-century' dance video is real or AI-generated

Though the women in the video look like they are from the 19th century, their dance moves and background music have left the internet puzzled.

People are left wondering if this '19th-century' dance video is real or AI-generated
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @shimajiofficialz

Social media is awash with AI-generated content that blurs the line between fiction and reality. Recently, a viral video claimed to show women dancing in the 19th century, adding to the confusion. The video posted on TikTok by @shimajiofficialz shows four women dancing to a popular modern song. The video's overlay text reads, "POV: me and my besties in 1900's," which the person later corrected to the 19th century in their caption.

Image Source: TikTok | @shimajiofficialz
Image Source: TikTok | @shimajiofficialz

In the black-and-white video, four women in 19th-century attire—dresses, hats, and coats—dance to "Tell Your Girlfriend" by Lay Bankz. Their dance movements are exactly in tune with the song's beat. It is quite evident that they are good dancers. They are seen dancing in front of the SS Great Britain in Bristol, UK. Viewers were puzzled whether the video was an AI-generated creation or genuine 19th-century footage.

The reason for their doubt is that though the video is black and white, the women are dancing to a modern song. @wreckwrap_ commented, "AI is way too powerful now I'm starting to get scared." @dipqu wrote, "Bro literally edited the music too." @metal_regret said, "Guys, this isn't AI real people dressed up like this. You can look it up on TikTok, it's a group of friends doing a silly 1900s video. It's from 2024.” @f1nns_toothbrush shared, "I just searched it up and it's real he just added a filter and they weren't dancing to the same audio." @yendys.18 added, "I'm so scared how AI is so powerful now."

Image Source: TikTok | @shimajiofficialz
Image Source: TikTok | @shimajiofficialz

The confusion settled when @urbiglefttoefungus clarified, "This is a real video and it's from a filmmaking set. (This isn't the OG post). Plus, AI is not this high tech yet. It's too smooth," which is true. The original video was recorded in 2024 by four theatre students. The women in this video are Erin McGerty, Evie Coombes, Sophie Cook and Aimee Olley. It was posted on the Bristol Institute of Performing Arts' TikTok account, @bipauk.

Image Source: TikTok | @shimajiofficialz
Image Source: TikTok | @shimajiofficialz

This video was edited to look like it was set in a different century. The students told Yahoo that they filmed the dance on April 22, 2024, after Coombes showed them the trend. "We had like five underskirts on, so as you can imagine, it was quite hard to move around," Olley shared while talking about how difficult it was to dance in the dresses, per Indy100. They also found people calling it AI-generated quite "bizarre" because of the filters present in the video. "I think it's because of the way that some of the videos have been made, they made it look quite fake."

@bipauk Its 1852 and these passengers are off to Australia 🦘on the #ssgreatbritain Behind the fun and laughter our BA (Hons) Musical Theatre students have been hard at work at their living history project, in partnership with SS Great Britain! #BIPAUK #UKFYP #1850s #fyp #womeninhistory #performingarts #dancetrend #theatrearts #BehindTheScenes #livinghistory #19thcentury #historytok #costumes #periodcostumes #womenempowerment #fyppppppppppppppppppppppp #fashion ♬ Tell Ur GF - Lay Bankz


You can follow @shimajiofficialz on TikTok for content on gaming. You can also follow Bristol Institute of Performing Arts (@bipauk) on TikTok for more theatrical content.

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