Viral YouTube video captivates a culture

The Harlem Shake, a viral video that has taken the internet by storm over the last couple weeks, is the newest dance sensation to sweep the nation.

People can hardly scroll down their Facebook News Feeds without seeing a reenactment of the original.

One video involves a person pulling the move, which is a combination of awkwardly flailing arms and bodily convulsions, then a crowd joins in, and basically “Harlem Shakes” their lives away.

The dance track featured in the video was composed by Brooklyn-based DJ Baauer.

People are not only watching the Harlem Shake video online, but also recreating the video themselves by shaking their business everywhere: in the streets, at school and even at their own jobs.

Countless colleges have already re-created the video, including St. Edward’s University.

Students gathered on Sunday, Feb. 17, during Homecoming Weekend on the front lawn of Main Building. The video reached over 7,000 views not even 24 hours after it premiered on YouTube.

However, the Harlem Shake has not always been about flailing your body to techno music. The dance actually originated in the New York City neighborhood of Harlem.

Dance crazes seem to never lose their popularity. Just last year, Gangnam Style became the most watched YouTube video of all time.

So why are people obsessed with all of these weird dance moves?

It has a lot to do with camaraderie. The Harlem Shake would not be popular if it was just a video of one person dancing alone.

Instead, most videos feature groups of people acting weird together.

Although Psy is the star of Gangam Style, it is rare that you see people out doing the Gangnam Style alone. The song plays, and everyone gets up to do it together.

Essentially, there is something about dancing along with others that brings a sense of extreme joy.

Dance crazes are usually easy, involving just a few steps and anyone with a basic sense of rhythm can learn.

Dances like the Cupid Shuffle and the Electric Slide are still popular because the songs tell you each step to make.

Dance crazes are not about being the best dancer or the most coordinated. People appreciate a chance to just let loose and have fun.