Just What Is the 'Harlem Shake' And How Did Anderson Cooper Get Caught Up In It?

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Just when you thought you’d seen the back of internet viral dance crazes, as the memory of Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ fades into the near-distant past, along comes The Harlem Shake. And it’s not just online, folks. It’s taking over our televisions. Anderson Cooper’s team made him do the Harlem Shake in a team meeting for Anderson Live (“it made me so uncomfortable,” said Cooper). The Today Show anchors have been at it, too, with a Valentine’s-themed Harlem Shake.

So just what is the Harlem Shake and how did it become so popular? The music contained in the video is by New York producer Baauer, notable for its elements of rave and dubstep. Reports of the origin of the craze differ. Wikipedia awards the accolade of starting the craze to YouTube user Filthy Frank. Most of the copycat video (and there have been quite a few) tend to start with just one person in a group dancing along to the tune and then, when the bass drops, the entire group start dancing. Unlike the Gangnam Style videos though, there appears to be no set dance to do along to the Harlem Shake.

According to New York Daily News, 12,000 Harlem Shake videos have been uploaded to YouTube, with over 44 million views attributed to them. 

Watch Anderson Cooper's team doing the Harlem Shake


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