An apparent bid to embarrass the youngest-ever US congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, over a 2010 dance video has backfired.
An attempt to discredit new US congresswoman and leftist poster child Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with a video of her dancing as a student backfired spectacularly, triggering eye rolls and a barrage of whimsical memes.
The 30-second clip of a younger Ocasio-Cortez, now 29, strutting her stuff on the roof of a building quickly went viral on social media -- but the troll attempt fell flat, with users rushing to praise rather than shame her.
The video was posted on YouTube in September 2010 and featured Ocasio-Cortez in her college student days performing dance moves from The Breakfast Club to the song “Lisztomania” by Phoenix.
Twitter user “AnonymousQ1776" initially posted a link to the original YouTube video on Wednesday with the message: “America’s favorite commie know-it-all acting like the clueless nitwit she is.”
In a direct response to her critics, Ocasio-Cortez on Friday afternoon posted a new short video of herself dancing outside her new congressional office.
"I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous," she wrote.
"Wait till they find out Congresswomen dance too!"
Other social media users soon came to her defence, praising her for being joyful and adorable.
"Well, @AOC is officially done. She'll never recover from the world seeing her... (watches video) ...dancing adorably and having fun with her friends in high school?" tweeted the comedian Patton Oswalt, tongue-in-cheek.
The original short video was filmed at Boston University, and sees Ocasio-Cortez -- who graduated from there in 2011 -- join peers to pay wholesome homage to an iconic dance scene from the 1980s film The Breakfast Club, set to the French indie pop band Phoenix's "Lisztomania."
Eric Baker helped to shoot the original video. He said the mashup of cult 1980s movies - such as Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink - was a tribute to their community.
“We thought it was fun and a great way to showcase your community,” he told Boston University's publication, BU Today.
“If we could jump on the ball, we thought we could do a Boston University mashup. We were student ambassadors at the Howard Thurman Center with Alexandria and others. We decided to make our own version. Julian and I did this from top to bottom, shooting, editing, casting.”
Stars of The Breakfast Club tweeted messages of support.
Actor Molly Ringwald said Ms Ocasio-Cortez's dance performance has qualified her to be part of the 'Breakfast Club'.Actor Ally Sheedy, whose dance moves Ocasio-Cortez was imitating, said she was “pretty happy ’bout it”, later writing: “I love this #teamAOC.”
The trolling intended as a "gotcha" moment for the New York politician -- who was sworn in to Congress Thursday, becoming the legislative body's youngest woman ever -- instead saw social media turn the video into a comical meme.
Writer Nicole Cliffe said she found the video rather flattering.
"Cannot wait for my enemies to post a video of me spinning around looking super hot with the shiny hair of youth and act like they just caught me breaking into the Watergate Hotel," she posted in a message on Twitter.
A Twitter account @aoc_dances unleashed a steady stream of posts, setting the clip to dozens of popular tunes as well as classics like the National Anthem of the People's Republic of China.
The meme mashing up David Bowie's hit "Rebel, Rebel" with the footage was particularly apt, playing the lyrics: "We like dancing and we look divine."
Ocasio-Cortez is a favorite among American progressives, having burst into the public consciousness after beating a Democratic Party stalwart in her first political race, New York's June primary.
An ally of longtime progressive Senator Bernie Sanders, she has built her platform on championing her working class roots and Puerto Rican heritage.
Australian actor Russell Crowe also wrote a message of support, describing her as "a real person, in touch with her roots".- with AFP