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TikTok sensation dances to the beat of her own drum in Savannah to the delight of millions – Savannah Morning News

If you see a woman dancing in Savannah in high-heeled shoes with a colorful skirt swishing around her, you may have just seen TikTok sensation Cristobal Leyva in her element. 
“I like to dance to everything,” Leyva said in Spanish, translated by her nephew Victor Salazar. 
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Leyva has more than 657,000 followers on the social media app, where users upload short-form videos, and a total of 16.7 million likes on all her videos (@cristoballeyva1).
Watching Leyva’s videos can become a game of “can you spot the different Savannah locations?” She has danced outside of different Savannah businesses and places such as River Street, Forsyth Park and the Historic Grayson Stadium, home to the Savannah Bananas and a favorite location for the star.
Leyva moved to Savannah from Mexico 14 years ago. She started her TikTok account in 2019 thanks to her nephew who showed her what the platform was all about. 
“I told her about a dance, and I told her to dance it … a lot of people liked to see her,” Salazar said. “People would make jokes about her dancing like a robot with her hands up, and she got a lot of likes and a lot of views in that video.”
Leyva’s first viral video was made in May 2021 and currently has 10.3 million views. In the video, Leyva is dancing in her home, signature heels and skirt present, whipping her ponytail, shuffling her feet and moving her hands in the “robot” stance to the sound of “Quien Piensa en Ti” by Mexican band El Trono de Mexico. 
A majority of the music she uses highlights her Mexican culture and she said most of her dance moves are random, but that’s what makes it so fun.
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Leyva and her nephew have become a dynamic duo, and her favorite video is actually a recent one she recorded dancing with him. Salazar handles the direction and creative process of making the videos, and Leyva is responsible for the dancing and outfit of the day. 
“I try to wear random stuff,” Leyva said. “I sometimes wear wigs and a lot of different styles.”
Salazar attributes his aunt’s dancing to her popularity with viewers. She regularly reaches hundreds of thousands to millions of views every video, and TikTok users duet (creating content featuring an initial video) her videos, replicating her dance and sometimes her outfits.
Leyva recalled feeling nervous the first time someone in Savannah recognized her from TikTok. 
“One day we went downtown, and then a truck was passing and a lady was yelling,” Leyva said. “She recognized me, and I tried running away.” 
As she acclimates to being recognized around town, the dancing queen said she is grateful for the support she’s received with her videos.
“Thank you to everyone who follows and watches our videos,” Leyva said.
Leyva and Salazar will continue making dancing videos that people enjoy, but have plans to bring different content for all the supporters who watch them. 
Laura Nwogu is the quality of life reporter for Savannah Morning News. Contact her at [email protected] Twitter: @lauranwogu_

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@kaitlynsantiago22/TikTok Nahila BonfiglioInternet Culture Published Nov 30, 2021   Updated Nov 30, 2021, 10:33 am CST Even in America—where time off from work is practically a...

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