The “Harlem Shake”: A New Kind of Dance Craze

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It seems like just yesterday that the world was dancing along to PSY’s popular hit “Gangam Style.” The signature dance moves and catchy lyrics were seen everywhere from award shows to humorous YouTube videos. While the popular dance captivated audiences quickly, it seems that the “Harlem Shake” has come to steal its spotlight.

Serving as the latest dance craze to sweep the nation, the “Harlem Shake” has certainly picked up steam. An interested viewer can now find people dancing along to this song just about anywhere. Various sports teams, celebrities, schools, and crowds have been recorded dancing to this newly hyped up song.

“It’s really funny seeing people randomly dancing with the funny props,” said junior Rebecca Broniak. “I’m not really surprised that this turned into a big deal. It seems like randomness kind of sells like with the past Gangam Style.”

Unlike “Gangam Style,” this 30-second dance generally consists of one oddly dressed person dancing in a casual setting until the music drops and the rest of the crowd joins in, dancing widely in their craziest attire. Local schools have also caught onto the trend, with University of Detroit Jesuit’s drama department performing their own interpretation directed in part by Mercy’s own seniors Anna Hominga and Gina Cozzolino.

“I heard about the Harlem Shake on the radio but I don’t really know where it came from,” said junior Kelsie Arlin.
Like Arlin, many don’t know that the origins of this dance date back to the ‘80s. Street dancer Al B created the shimmying move long ago, said to be inspired by the mummies in Africa. Still, today’s modern craze is only loosely based on Al’s old moves from Harlem, New York City.

It is not the first time that a dance of this sort gained this attention so fast. The “Wobble,” “Dougie,” and even the older “Cha Cha Slide” are still being played and danced along to today. Current popular culture allows for entertainment like this to continue. As long as there is an audience to listen it’s quite possible that catchy tunes and repetitive moves will continue to grace the screens of YouTube and enter many homes.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tN231gAHSc&list=HL1362074725&feature=mh_lolz

The cast of “Damn Yankees” at University of Detroit Jesuit recently had some fun dancing to the “Harlem Shake,” and Mercy student Anna Hominga uploaded the result on YouTube.