Harlem Shake: The Story of a Worldwide Dance Craze

The wave of the Harlemshake video clips went down and so it’s time to sum up the results. In this given article we are going to explore what was the beginning of the Harlemshake dance and to recall some of the videos.

Bliss and Zetta are professional hip-hop dancers and choreographers. In the spring of 2010 they uploaded a video clip to YouTube, in which they explained how to danceHarlemshake. What was surprising was that the dance existed since the end of the seventieth, but it became a total infatuation just three and a half decades on.

Two years later, in March 2012, being inspired by Harlem Shake dance, a musician named Baauer wrote a track, which became a real hit in narrow circles.

If not a group of Australian guys, the track should stay “widely known in narrow circles”. Those guys dressed in bright colors and performed Harlemshake dance in a little more saucily way than it was shown in original video.

And so that was the moment when the viral content video clips about Harlem shake started appearing in the Internet. 

The plot of a Harlem Shake video clip is standard. There are several people in shot. Each of them is occupied with doing something special, and one of them performs slow but rhythmic movements. 14 seconds later, as the music gets faster, everyone else joins him and starts performing the convulsive dance.

That is how the Facebook Harlem Shake looked like:

And that is the Google’s version of a Harlem Shake:

And the Yandex’s one:

It is easier to count the number of the offices where theHarlemshake video has not been shot, instead of counting those who participated in this Bacchanalia. Let’s check how people danced in different agencies.

Grape’s version:

Affect’s version:

There are some non-standard variants. For example Red Keds’s meteors dance:

However, one should not think that particularly office styleHarlemshake videos were created. You may want to check how Australian miners performed it:

By the way, all the miners participated in this video were fired.

As it figured out Harlemshake can be danced in protest. At least this is how Tunisian students thought it could be performed, when picketing the local Ministry of Education:

And finally, there are even Harlem shake video versions danced by machines. Here is for example the agony of the washing machine:

Here are Ilya Korenev’s, the creative director of Affect, comments on this madness:

The truth is people enjoy entertaining videos — that is an absolute fact. Every day millions of people strive to find some new funny content in the Internet.

The second fact is about human self-exaltation — people like when they are paid attention and do their best to receive more likes by means of posting their status updates in social networks or pictures on Instagram. 

But the problem is many of them are hard to call creative and so they are not able to make up something new. It is much easier to follow somebodys great idea. The further it gets the easier is to determine the components of the efficient formula — this is the scheme that allows to receive both attention and cool content at once.

For example somebody somewhere thought of a demotivator format of pictures — a cool picture in a black frame accompanied by text. To do such kind of a picture is really easy and it is always funny.

So, Harlem Shake is a one more successful formula. There is no need to invent anything; everything is made up for you already: the timing, the music, the culmination. But there is still possibility to express yourself by choosing the place where to perform the dance, by deciding on what to have on, and how to move. As a result, you are going to have a lot of attention, and the Internet is going have even more entertaining content.

The success of the Harlemshake, in my opinion, can be explained by the fact that the process is fun for both, the audience and the dancers. Those who watch the video clip may not know what to expect after the 15th second. That is why watching Harlem shake videos can hardly annoy. On the contrary, it is really hard to stop and you are going to want to watch more and more.  

And certainly no need to explain why the process is so much amusing for the dancers — was ever acting crazy so appreciated?

 

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