Harlem Shake history
example picture of “Harlem Shake” moment
By now everybody has heard of the newest Internet meme called the „Harlem Shake“.
For those of you who by some chance don’t know what it is, it’s a very silly and simple dance where one individual in a group starts dancing; usually by doing the humping style sort-of dance, or pivoting one shoulder out while popping the other one out at the same time.
At the beginning, that one individual is the only one dancing, while the rest of the group is standing still. As soon as the bass drops, the camera shot changes, and suddenly the entire crowd appears in weird costumes and they go ape shit, flailing their arms, jumping up and down and doing all kind of crazy stuff.
The weirder and wilder they do it, the better effect the dance gets.
Now, the most popular aspect of the trend; the sudden change in camera shot when the bass drops, was introduced in the TheSunnyCoastSkate’s video posted on February 2nd, which then became the basic prototype on how to do the “Harlem Shake”. However this is not the first time the Harlem Shake has been done.
Harlem shake, or “albee”, is a dance that started in Harlem in 1981. It became popular in 2001, after G. Dep featured the dance in his music video “Let’s Get It”.
Over time, it became a part of African-American culture. It also became more than just a drunken dance it once was. The original Harlem Shake is done like this.
And much like in hip-hop, this meme was done by a now very well known and simple formula:
You take something old, mix it with something different or new, and you got yourself a brand new style. So in this case, the old New York dance was mixed with a camera shot change seen in this video where some Norway men were trying to increase tourism in their country by naked-humping…
I guess the street. Needless to say, it didn’t work.
Here’s the video.