Grab a mob of friends, a camera and do the Harlem Shake! You may become the next YouTube sensation or at least have a blast dressing up in crazy costumes and dancing wildly.
Virginia Wesleyan students crowded in front of the John Wesley Statue at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 21 to take a stab at their own version of the Harlem Shake. Senior and Student Body President Jenee Johnson suggested the idea of organizing the student body to make our own version of the popular YouTube video to Student Activities.
The Office of Student Activities and College Communications Department came armed with their cameras to document the event. Meanwhile, students and faculty dressed in everything from Bob the Marlin to full on scuba diving suits, ready to make their YouTube debut.
“It was funny to see what weirdness can come out of everyone,” said Johnson. “Jill Reynolds came in a crocodile suit and Dr. Dobrin was dressed as Darth Vader.”
Students enjoyed the opportunity to break away from classes and express themselves by dancing with the Marlin community.
“I knew it would be a fun thing for our campus to do,” said sophomore Khedejah Been. “We all came together. It was a chance for us to unwind for 30 seconds and not be judged.”
The Harlem Shake dance craze has taken over YouTube with more than 200,000 videos of groups of people breaking out into dance to the hit song. You can find grandmas, puppies, athletes, students and more spontaneously combusting to this electronica dance track.
While a fun, upbeat sensation, the video has also caused confusion and controversy as some recognize its title, which refers to the dance that originated in Harlem more than 30 years ago. According to the New York Times, “during halftime at streetball games held in Rucker Park, a skinny man known in the neighborhood as Al. B. would entertain the crowd with his own brand of moves, a dance that around Harlem became known as ‘The Al. B.’” The dance went mainstream when the “Crazy Boyz” dance crew introduced the move in hip-hop music videos and called it the “Harlem Shake.” Some Harlem residents look at the video as mocking the dance that originated in their city, while others laugh at the shenanigans of the participants.
Despite the critics, YouTube proves the fascination with the dance and entices more Harlem Shake dancers to show the world how they “Do the Harlem Shake!” If you want to see your fellow Marlins do the Harlem Shake you can watch the video on YouTube or on The Marlin Chronicle online.