What is the Harlem Shake?

The Harlem Shake is 30 second dance meme, the latest viral video phenomenon that has taken off across the US and world. Some consider it a stake in the heart of the wildly popular Gangam Style which hit 1 billion YouTube views in 2012. The Harlem Shake began in Harlem, New York in 1981 with its roots in an Ethiopian dance called “Eskista.” But today, it has become much much more.

The daily beast interviews Baauer, the man behind the Harlem Shake who is a DJ and Music Producer and explores what happened: “The first video was uploaded to YouTube by amateur comedian Filthy Frank on February 2. As of February 15, over 40,000 “Harlem Shake” videos have been uploaded to YouTube, totaling over 175 million views. The cast of the TODAY showThe Daily Show and The Colbert Report, this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, and even a battalion of the Norwegian Army have gotten in on the act.”

Since then, Baauer’s song “Harlem Shake” has topped the iTunes Charts and took the number 1 spot on the Billboards. A ranking which now incorporates YouTube’s streaming data to the chart’s methodology, a change that took effect last week.

The Anatomy Of The Harlem Shake

The Harlem Shake has a very specific simple and memorable format, both critical ingredients in proliferating a viral craze:

(1)  At the video beginning, one person (often masked or wearing a helmet) is dancing by themselves. Anyone else in the area are still or simply not paying attention to the dancing.

(2) When the bass drops, everyone else joins in on the dancing, usually accompanied by costumes and/or props.

The Product Farm Vino2Go Edition
Well, we successfully resisted all Harlem Shake Dance intervention efforts and managed to create our own. We even wrapped me up in our favorite wrapping material, Geami’s GreenWrap.

P.S. Many thanks to the fantastic Harlem Shake Filming Crew: