Saturday, 9 February 2013

Harlem Shake - the new Gangnam style? New dance craze takes over YouTube

Yesterday a colleague (Karl) introduced me to a new craze that seems to be sweeping across YouTube called Harlem Shake.

Last summer a dance track was released: Baauer - Harlem Shake (you can buy it on Amazon here: Harlem Shake.)  Harlem Shake has now had new life breathed into it thanks to YouTube videos where people have started making crazy videos of themselves dancing to the Harlem Shake track.

Part flashmob / part Gangnam style, part suggestive / part silly, Harlem Shake tends to be staged in two parts.  Most of the Harlem Shake videos following the original seem to feature one person or a small group dancing before exploding into a large scale Harlem Shake event with lots of people joining in.

Filthy Frank started the Harlem Shake craze and we now have Harlem Shake offices:

Harlem Shake agencies (W+K's Portland edition):


and even Harlem Shake firefighters too:

Fuelled by the attention of users of sites like Reddit and Buzzfeed, the Harlem Shake videos have exploded across YouTube in the last few days.  The Google Search Trends graph also shows how searches for 'Harlem Shake' have risen dramatically this week too:

Google search trends Harlem Shake graph
'Harlem Shake' Google Search trends
The Harlem Shake trend has appeared and spread very quickly and it seems to be the actions of different groups and communities that are fuelling the Harlem Shake distribution.  Rather than being focussed on a single video (as Gangnam Style was), Harlem Shake spread is about different groups of people coming together to create the most relevant thing for their communities and audiences - office humour tends to be different to gamer humour, college humour and so on but the underlying principles of the Harlem Shake routine remain the same and each new Harlem Shake version is seemingly driving more traffic back to the original films (especially as the early Harlem Shake videos seem to be labelled with version numbers...)

So how big can the Harlem Shake get?


More and more Harlem Shake videos seem to be appearing.  Here are some of my favourite Harlem Shake videos from the last few days:

The Norwegian Army do the Harlem Shake

Harlem Shake in Tutt Library at Colorado college

David Hasselhoff Harlem Shake in Australia whilst at 2DayFM

Harlem Shake in Lapland "extreme version"

Harlem Shake Oregon Duck version

So what's your favourite so far? (post a link in the comments)

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