Harlem Shake Shaking The Internet

Well it’s no news to anyone that nothing stays quiet for long these days, especially with social media that never sleeps, and here’s yet another example. The Harlem Shake has been dubbed by many as the new Gangnam style, but could it really beat 1 billion views?

The Harlem Shake was originally a dance from back in the 1980’s, allegedly started by Al B. The dance became mainstream when DJ Baauer released a song titled Harlem Shake back in May 2012, but the original Youtube video wasn’t created until 2nd February 2013. It was produced by a group of Australian teenagers and within 2 weeks has over 5.5 million views.

It only takes watching one or two of these videos to realise what is involved but for those of you who haven’t yet seen one I’ll explain, not that it will give it much justice. It starts off with one person, usually dawning a type of helmet or mask, who stands in the middle of a group of disinterested people. The person begins gyrating, grinding or doing some other type of cringy ‘dance move’ to the opening beat of the song. As the bassline drops a frenzy appears on screen and it’s hard to know where to look first. All of a sudden people can be seen half naked, dressed up in costumes, carrying blow up animals or riding unicycles. The scenes only last around thirty seconds but when it does end you find yourself strangely clicking on the next link to see another.

Here’s one of the most popular versions online.

Over 4,000 remakes are going up every day getting millions of views each. The parodies are normally being made by teenagers and office workers but they do range as far as American football teams, to Page 3 Girls and of course Father Ted.

It has become so popular it is even beginning to make its way into colleges as coursework. I caught up with 20 year old Sean Gallagher at St. Patrick’s College Dublin who was asked to be involved in the remake of one of these videos as part of his Digital Learning class.

What was your initial reaction when you saw the Harlem Shake video?

My initial reaction was complete confusion followed by extreme interest, I immediately researched it to try and figure out where such an idea came from.

How did you feel when you were asked to re-enact it?

To be asked to re-enact the video was massively exciting as the video allows the participants to be as creative and essentially as crazy as they want. I instantly had hundreds of ideas of how crazy and random we could be from when we were asked to do the Harlem Shake.

What was it like to be in the video? 

It was such a great experience and so much fun. The time we were given to re-enact the video was only 30 minutes but within that time I laughed almost constantly.

Would you recommend others to give it a try?

I would 100% recommend everyone to give the Harlem Shake a go, it’s the latest internet trend and makes for an incredible opportunity to go crazy and have fun with your friends.

Here is the video that Sean’s class made. ( Sean is the one in the crazy cowboy hat.)


Have you got your own Harlem Shake video you want to share with us?

The gang at The Circular might even be persuaded to join in and make our own.

Is that something you might want to see? Let us know.



  1. Gemma if u find it difficult gathering friends, perhaps yourself and my friends should join up and try it of you are interested?? Thanks , great article

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