So Where Did The Harlem Shake Come From?

So if I were to say to you Harlem Shake what would you think of?

The dance move from the 1980’s maybe?

No? Well how about the dance track from Baauer?

I think I’m a little closer. How about the video sensation that’s been taking the internet by storm over the last few days?

I’ve hit the nail on the head haven’t I? But what the hell is the Harlem Shake and where did it come from? Well according to YouTube Trends’ Kevin Allocca the original Harlem Shake video was this one uploaded by YouTube user DizastaMusic.

Interestingly however the current form of Harlem Shake videos appears to have been started by another user who goes by the name of TheSunnyCoastSkate

The current form of Harlem Shake videos appears to start with a person (often masked) walking into a room and dancing, the other occupiers of the room are oblivious of the masked person’s existence until Baauer’s beat drops and video jump cuts to everyone in the room dancing. People are usually dancing outrageously and sometimes partially clothed. The videos usually last no longer than 30 seconds.

So why has the Harlem Shake taken off in the way it has then? My guess is that crucial 30 second video length. It’s great because you can easily consume a dozen videos on your lunch break or at home when you have a few minutes spare, and the anticipation of the drop always seems to get the audience. Above all though it’s really quick and easy to put together a Harlem Shake video. Perhaps that’s why around 12,000 Harlem Shake videos have been uploaded to YouTube between the 1st and 11th February 2013 and over 4000 videos are being uploaded every day, a number that keep growing.

So where will the Harlem Shake end up? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. One thing’s for sure though, this is the biggest internet sensation since PSY unleashed the Gangnam Style. Baauer’s Harlem Shake single has entered the UK midweek charts at number 22, a position which I’m sure the song will rise from if the meme continutes to gain the traction it’s currently picking up.

So with all of this Harlem Shaking I decided that there was only one thing for it, and I decided to jump on the bandwagon. You can see my attempt of Harlem Shake below.

I’d love to hear what you all think about the Harlem Shake, as always the comments section below is open for you.


See also: Stop doing the Harlem Shake. Stop it! Just Stop!

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Richard Lartey Written by:

  • little mystery

    cute weird awkward


    I just heard of this today and judging by the 2 “originals”. It looks like a remix of the Bernie Dance. Youtube it and judge for yourself…. The Bernie dance was out last year