Freaky Friday: Do the Harlem Shake

I was unaware of this because I am really not as hip to the jive as I used to be, but there is a video meme going around called the Harlem Shake. I am sure many of you have heard of it before, but this old biddy is just catching on. This dance-driven meme has gone viral in a matter of days, I am talking 11,000 remake videos at least. There has to be something to it, right?

My alma mater Winthrop University did their own rendition of the Harlem Shake. They posted it yesterday…this morning it has over 6,000 hits?!? What? Click on the video. Educate yourselves.

After watching this for the first time you may feel bewildered and a little confused. So was I. How did this get so popular? And how come I feel the indescribable need to make a video of my own? I have been studying these videos and I have come up with my own, patented Harlem Shake Video Tutorial.


Step One: You will need the track Harlem Shake by electronic musician Baauer.

Step Two:  Enlist one individual to “star” in the video.  He will need to be wearing something over his/her head such as a darth vader helmet, a bowl, a lampshade….just get crazy with it.  Point is, you shouldn’t be able to see the star dancer’s face.

Step Three:  This is the best part.  The star dancer doesn’t even have to be that good of a dancer.  He can wiggle about, do some fist pumping, whatever he feels.  The main thing is that you put this dancer in a room full of people who are oblivious to what he’s doing.

Step Four:  Let the bass drop.  This is very important.  You must wait for the base to drop, not before and not after.  Then and only then can you bring in the other dancers in a flash.  I will NOT stress anymore how important this is, wait for the bass to drop.  Okay you have your dancers and they are clad in strange ways…WAIT FOR THE BASS TO DROP FOR THE LOVE OF ALL VIRAL VIDEOS!  Ahem, back to the dancers.  You have to have at least a couple dancers who aren’t wearing much at all.  You can have some people in weird costumes.  I have even seen one random person wrapped up in cellophane in a few videos.  Have some people totally spazzing out across the screen. It would be good to have someone actually doing the Harlem Shake somewhere in there. Let those crazy kids do their thing!

Step Five:  Dance dance dance!  At a rapid pace.  Speed the video up a little bit to make it look really cartooney, as if parties just break out at random.

Step Six:  Slow down the video as soon as the music starts to slur.

And there you have it, your very own Harlem Shake tutorial.  It was so hard to put together, considering the staggering brilliance that is the Harlem Shake art-form.  I wouldn’t ponder over the brilliance too long though.  Since this is indeed a meme, you have about a week to pull it off before it becomes repetitive and stupid.  So get to it, my crazy film makers!

Once more with feeling. The Original Harlem Shake…in it’s truest form. Published February 2, 2013.  7,547,218 hits as of me…WTH?


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