On Wednesday evening’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, former One Direction heartthrob Liam Payne made his prime time television debut as a solo artist with a performance of his new single, “Strip That Down.” The big news for Payne fans is that he chose to accompany his tune with some slick dance moves. Lots of slick dance moves.
As part of the famous fivesome, Payne and the boys were known for their tongue-in-cheek attitude towards dancing: mainly, they avoided it. (Or if they did engage in some light choreography, it was with a wink and a nod to the fact that they certainly weren’t dance impresarios like their boy band forebears the Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC, groups of guys known for their sharply synchronized moves.)
But Payne is bucking the anti-choreography trend and kicking off his independent career with a much more pro-dance attitude, to the delight of fans. His performance of a minimalist version of hip hop bop “Strip That Down” lit up Twitter as long-time supporters finally saw what he’s working with, moves-wise. Joined by a few backup dancers silhouetted all in black, Payne shimmied, chasséd, and even threw in some fancy footwork while singing through the track. Looks like he’s feeling just fine onstage on his own.