QU ‘Harlem Shakes’ through the storm

By on February 13, 2013
Students on York Hill gathered to film another edition of the 'Harlem Shake' Feb. 12.

The Harlem Shake: everyone’s heard about it or seen it, but no one knows how it started. All we know is that it’s taking over the Internet and inspiring a wide range of Quinnipiac students to film similar videos.

The “Harlem Shake” originally referred to a dance that began in Harlem in 1981, and is influenced by an Ethiopian dance called “Eskista.” The dance was referenced by New York DJ, Baauer, in his popular song, “Harlem Shake,” which is featured in every recent version on YouTube. However, the first Quinnipiac edition remains a mystery since many claim to be the original.

Jasmine Martin, a sophomore on the women’s basketball team, was among the first to upload a video on Saturday, Feb. 9 of her and fellow teammates performing the dance.

“We were stuck in the snow storm and me and my roommate were on the computer and came across this crazy video,” Martin said. “At first we were like, ‘What is this?’ but as we saw more videos we were like, ‘We have to do this A.S.A.P.’”

Each “Harlem Shake” video has the same formula. The 30-second clip features a group of people going about their daily lives, usually sitting, texting or using a computer, while one person dances wearing some sort of costume or mask. As soon as the bass drops, the once-normal, everyday scene suddenly jumps to one of complete chaos. Everyone begins dancing, thrusting and shaking frantically in unusual outfits, or lack thereof.

Martin’s video has more than 3,000 views on YouTube and that number continues to rise. Martin was so pleased with the video’s success that she made another and plans to upload one final video.

“We are looking to shoot one last huge video up at the arena with all the student body involved,” Martin said. “I think that would be something to bring pride to the school and some more school spirit back, so we will see how that goes.”

Junior Chris Meade also filmed and edited his own version on the York Hill campus, which was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday, Feb. 12. A student in a bear suit paces in front of Rocky Top, then points a fake gun at the camera and pretends to shoot when the base drops.

Meade said he thought of the idea prior to Martin’s posting, but after viewing her clip was even more motivated to pursue the project.

“I figured we’d all have a great time doing it, so why not,” Meade said. “We did a practice run yesterday just for fun and got tons of attention.”

Martin and Meade aren’t the only ones on campus recreating the dance craze. Among the Quinnipiac editions, a Resident Assistant from Mountainview, Steve Kuchenreuther, uploaded one on Sunday, Feb. 10, as well as students from Troupe the same day.

“I had saw a handful of Harlem Shake videos the week before and thought it is a very simple, yet entertaining concept,” said Kuchenreuther. “I had contacted a few of my friends in the hopes they would want to participate, few responded. Then Nemo hit and so did extreme boredom. Nemo opened up the opportunity to shoot the video.”

According to Kuchenreuther, his video has been streamed in 40 different countries and had more than 2,500 views within the first 24 hours of being uploaded.

Another version took place in the Mount Carmel caf on Feb. 12, and rumors continue to circulate about the next video to be filmed.

Women’s Basketball Team

York Hill Edition

Mountainview Edition

Troupe Edition

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About Sara Kozlowski

Arts & Life Editor
Email: artslife@quchronicle.com
Twitter: @sara_koz
Year: 2015
Major: Print journalism