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What Is the ‘Harlem Shake’? – We’ll Answer Your Question and Show You the Original

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A musician named Baauer released a song called, “Harlem Shake” in 2012. In early February, 2013, a video was posted to Youtube (warning, it’s mildly crude) showing four people dancing to the introduction, then going crazy when the bass hits. Then as early as Feb. 2 multiple groups of friends and coworkers began posting similar videos to Facebook riffing off one another. The trend appears to have reached true “viral” status after one video was posted on Feb. 6 that now has over 10 million hits. Despite a lack of resemblance to the original, all the viral videos have the same features in common:

  • A lone person dancing by themselves wearing a mask, helmet or box over their head.
  • While the lone person dances, several friends or coworkers can be observed working or relaxing oblivious of the lone dancer.
  • When the bass line hits, the video automatically cuts to the entire room dancing crazily.
  • There is often someone standing on a table.
  • There is often one person upside down (either hanging or standing on their hands).
  • The videos do not last longer than 30 seconds.

Watch the original

Watch the version with over 10 million views

Watch dozens of Harlem Shake videos from around the world

Find out what a Hip Hop dancer thinks Harlem Shake means

We invite you to make your own Harlem Shake video. Be as creative as possible. Load it to Youtube and share the URL with us.

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