Gangnam Style is, like, so last year
The Harlem Shake is a style of dance that has gone viral.
By Erin Fogerty
Viral dance videos seemed to define the year of 2012 with the pop hits “Call Me Maybe” and “Gangnam Style.” Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” was the most parodied and lip-synced song of the summer. When entering in the search words, “Call Me Maybe cover,” in YouTube, over 155,000 videos appear. The original video has over 400,000,000 views on YouTube. The song was No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 for 9 consecutive weeks.
The craziness all started with Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Ashley Tisdale making an home music video for pal Jepsen’s new single. The famous friends recorded themselves on a MacBook while dancing around the house, lip-syncing the song. Soon followed an overwhelming amount of fan-inspired videos. Katy Perry and James Franco jumped on the bandwagon and posted videos of themselves and friends lip-syncing the song as well. And just when you thought the covers and parodies were done, the U.S. Olympic Swim Team posted their own “Call Me Maybe” video.
In the fall, it was Korean rapper Psy’s horse riding dance move that took the internet by storm. Psy’s “Gangnam Style” music video became the most watched video ever on YouTube with over one billion views. His goofy yet catchy dance moves inspired a never-ending stream of parodies and dance parties.
The Harlem Shake is the latest viral dance video taking the nation by storm. Since an original 30-second clip hit the web on Feb. 2, there have been over 40,000 copycat uploads on YouTube. Videos of teenagers, office workers, celebrities, college athletes and families doing the Harlem Shake have collectively received 175 million views.
So, what exactly is all this craziness about and how did it even start?
On Feb. 2, amateur comedian Filthy Frank uploaded a video of himself and three friends hip thrusting in a small apartment to the beat of electronic music producer Baauer’s song “Harlem Shake.” Three of the four men are masked, one is in a full red Power Rangers costume, and another in an alien suit. When “Do the Harlem Shake” is uttered about 15 seconds into the song, the bass drops and the men break into the Bernie. The Bernie is another viral dance craze that has people moving like a dead Bernie Lomax from the 1993 comedy “Weekend at Bernie’s.”
A group of friends from Australia then decided to upload a 31-second clip of their own take on “The Harlem Shake.” Although the concept originated with Filthy Frank, this Australian version is really responsible for the meme going viral. In the video, there are five boys just hanging out in a dorm room doing homework and playing video games. One of the boys, who is wearing a helmet, is dancing to the song alone as the beat builds. The other boys seem to be unfazed by the one friend aggressively hip thrusting along to the song. When the beat drops, everyone is going crazy, twisting, shaking and thrusting around the room.
The best videos are ones that feature large groups of people, bizarre outfits, props and hilarious, spastic dance moves. Some of the most viewed videos are of college football, basketball and swim teams shaking their stuff in the locker room. This week, the USD football team decided to make their own Harlem Shake video in the locker room. The football guys shake their stuff in uniforms, towels and various props to Baauer’s beats. There are a few other USD Harlem Shake’s that can be found on YouTube. A brave group of freshman boys in Missions A strip down to their boxers when the beat drops in their 30 second video. The USD School of Law also posted a video with law students going crazy as the beat drops in sleeping bags and animal costumes.
Baauer’s song “Harlem Shake” has shot all the way to No. 1 on iTunes. Not too long ago “Call Me Maybe” and “Gangnam Style” ruled the No. 1 spot. None of these viral dance crazes last too long so before the Harlem Shake is out of style, grab a group of friends, a helmet and some crazy costumes and make your own Harlem Shake Video. The bigger the dance party the better.