By Jared Hinderer
Coming from the generation that basically pioneered the viral video, we as high school students have grown to love (or hate) them as they progress and morph from one form to another. We’ve seen planking, flash mobs, and outlandish dances; I’m looking at you Gangnam Style. But the best type of viral video genre is the one that gets everyone involved; something that everyone can do and have a good time doing. The most recent: The Harlem Shake.
Everybody, it seems, has been doing Harlem Shake videos and posting them on Youtube. Sports teams, office staffs, and students. If you own some crazy headgear and can flail your arms, you can do the Harlem Shake.
But some of you may not know what a Harlem Shake is. The song, “Harlem Shake,” that is featured in the videos was created by an artist known as Baauer in 2012, but has only recently come into light with these videos. The actual Harlem Shake dance traces it roots back to hip-hop of the early 1980’s, according to knowyourmeme.com and was originally just motions of “popping” your shoulders in a side to side motion, but today’s pop culture definition of the term, reported by urbandictionary.com is “An eccentric upper body dance move that involves the shaking of the upper torso and shoulders.” You basically flail your limbs wildly while moving your head around.
However, Harlem shakers have adapted the moves to fit their own style, and that is why I like this viral sensation so much. Generally the videos start with one person, usually wearing a motorcycle helmet or other strange headgear, gyrating their hips among a group of individuals that seem to not notice them at all. After about fifteen seconds, there is a heavy bass drop in the song with the words “Do the Harlem Shake” with which everyone else that was previously uninterested is now wearing outrageous clothing or costumes and flailing themselves about the room.
The reason I enjoy the Harlem Shake so much is the freedom to be creative with it. No two Harlem Shakes are alike, and it gives you an opportunity to have fun and be silly with friends.
Next time you have a group of people together, I want you to bring a video camera, set up a Harlem shake and have a great time. This can provide a bonding experience, and possibly get you your fifteen minutes of Youtube fame.
However act quick, because this craze’s days are numbers, like all other viral videos, but in the meantime, have fun, and keep shaking.