New Internet Craze: “Harlem Shake”


Dianna Albanese, Viewpoints Editor

There’s been a recurring trend in our generation involving YouTube: someone posts a video, it goes viral, and everyone feels the need to recreate it and make their own version. The newest is none other than the infamous “Harlem Shake.”

The original “Harlem Shake” was created many years ago. Those who knew the dance previously would compare it to the “Cupid Shuffle” or the “Cha Cha Slide,” being that it is a repetitive dance sequence that is well known to many. Then, a few friends dressed in ridiculous costumes taped themselves dancing to the song, and it blew up into something completely different.

The new and popular “Harlem Shake” videos all begin the same way: a lone dancer wearing a mask “bernies” or pelvic thrusts for about ten seconds. Suddenly, the bass drops, and a huge crowd of people joins the dancer, flailing their arms and going insane. Videos feature swim teams showing off underwater, flash mobs taking over malls; even the troops in Afghanistan have posted their fair share of videos. Many colleges – some examples include the University of Texas, Colorado College, and the University of Georgia – used the school’s facilities and mascots to join in on the fun. Renowned celebrities such as rapper T-Pain and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon have their own “Harlem Shake” videos as well. “My friends and I decided to make our own “Harlem Shake” one night,” said senior Jake Kaplan. “It was a lot of fun!” Anything on YouTube that is titled “Harlem Shake” has received over a million views within the past three weeks.

Another video circulating the YouTube world is “Harlem Reacts to ‘Harlem Shake’ Videos.” This video includes reactions from many who reside in Harlem; some laugh, some say it is disrespectful, and all reassure the man videotaping them that the videos posted are “nothing like the original.”

It’s safe to say that this strange sensation will die down in about a week as the world discovers something new to obsess over.