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Published:March 5th, 2013 11:51 EST

Video! The Harlem Shake Meme Shakes Up The Universe!

By Robert Paul Reyes

"The Harlem Shake is an Internet meme in the form of a video of various groups of people performing a comedy sketch accompanied by a short excerpt from the song  `Harlem Shake`. As a meme, the video was replicated by many people, using the same concept, and this rapidly led to it becoming viral in early February 2013, with thousands of  `Harlem Shake` videos being made and uploaded to YouTube every day at the height of its popularity."



Harlem Shake videos have been posted online by celebs and sports stars, but the most popular ones have been created and posted by regular people.

The Harlem Shake videos last only about 30 seconds and feature an excerpt of the song "Harlem Shake" by electronic musician Baauer.

There is a template that must be followed: A Harlem Shake video begins with one person, usually a helmeted or masked male dancing to the song alone for about 15 seconds. In the background there are a few persons who are totally oblivious to the dancing fool. But when the bass drops, the video cuts to the entire crowd getting down and funky for the next 15 seconds. Usually there`s at least one or two scantily dressed dancers in the mix.

The dancing style has nothing to do with the original Harlem Shake dance. If you can do the pelvic thrust and fling your arms and legs around like you are high on crack, you are ready to star in a Harlem Shake video.

The Harlem Shake meme is a paean to individuality and creativity. The dancing isn`t choreographed or synchronized, everybody does their own thang and nobody is afraid to make a fool of himself.

It`s not too late to get on the bandwagon, and upload your own Harlem Shake video. It doesn`t matter if you don`t have any friends, record it with your cat, dog or broom. 

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