Harlem Shake – The Dance Move With No Rules That’s Taking Over the Internet

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Psy’s Gangnam style was a calculated, almost scientific dance; heavily choreographed and eminently replicable, it soon shot to a billion hits, becoming the first YouTube video to do so.

But there’s a new dance on the block, now: the Harlem Shake. The Shake is a dance move from 1980s Harlem that made a comeback in 2011. American producer Baauer released Harlem Shake, the song named after the dance, and since then, community made videos of the beat have dominated the net, pushing the jig to the fore.

Back in the summer of 2012, Pitchfork – a website so often ahead of the curve – released an edition of their Selector videocast featuring rappers Despot and El-P giving their sixpence (and freestyle) on the beat.

Alex Debelov, CEO of Virool, a San Francisco firm that helps people promote their YouTube videos says these viral episodes rarely happen because "there's so much content now -- 1.5 million videos are uploaded to YouTube every single day."

"The meme (of the Shake) is very easy to participate in -- all you need is some basic video-editing skills and a group of people who are game to participate. A motorcycle helmet helps, too," said Oliver Wang, a pop-culture writer and scholar. "I think the meme-ness has partially to do with the pleasures of dancing yourself silly."


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