Harlem Shake is a dance that has become an almost overnight phenomenon using Internet technology, including YouTube, social media, blogs and online media publications, to go viral.
The Harlem Shake is a hip-hop style dance started in 1981 by Harlem, New York resident “Al B,” and it became mainstream in 2001 when featured in a music video.
The Harlem Shake took on a whole new meaning in February 2013 when Harry Rodrigues (aka “Baauer”) released a heavy bass instrumental track titled “Harlem Shake.” This Harlem shake meme (“Internet meme“) showed people performing a skit to the song Harlem Shake (view it on YouTube).
The YouTube video went viral and resulted in thousands of people and groups creating their own versions of Harlem Shake videos, such as sports teams, military organizations, students and celebrities. For example, Daytona 500 Champion Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 team celebrated by doing the Harlem Shake after their win at Daytona International Speedway (view it on YouTube).
In addition to the many thousands of YouTube videos featuring the Harlem Shake, there are a number of Harlem Shake spin-offs including the “Harlem Shake for Websites,” where users enter any website URL and view a version of the website doing the Harlem Shake.