What is a Harlem Shake
The Harlem Shake is a dance that originally began in Harlem, New York. Since its beginnings it has spread to other urban areas and became popular in music videos. The announcers at the Entertainer’s Basketball Classic at Rucker Park claim that the modern day Harlem Shake was started by a man by the name of “Al B” (nickname Sisqo or Cisco). Al B was an alcoholic who would perform the dance upon request. Because of its founder, the dance was originally called the “albee” in Rucker and Harlem, but then later became known as the Harlem Shake.2
Al B is quoted saying that the dance is “a drunken shake anyway, it’s an alcoholic shake, but it’s fantastic, everybody appreciates it.” He said it comes from the Ancient Egyptians and describes it as what the mummies used to do.2 Because they were all wrapped up they couldn’t really move, all they could do was shake. Harlem Shake is based on an Ethiopian dance called the Eskista.3
Al B states that he has been doing the Harlem Shake since 1981. The dance first caught on at the Entertainer’s Basketball Classic or EBC and spread from there to other areas.2
Though starting in 1981, the Harlem Shake became mainstream in 2001 when G-Dep featured the dance in his music video “Let’s Get It”.3
The Harlem Shake is commonly associated with a similar dance move called The Chicken Noodle Soup. The Chicken Noodle Soup evolved from the Harlem Shake and exploded into popularity in the summer of 2006 when DJ Webstar and Young B brought it to the mainstream.3
The dance is referred to in the CunninLynguists song, “Old School,” in Mac Dre’s song, “Thizzle Dance,” and in Nelly’s song, “Dilemma.”
A band from New York City took the name of the dance and dubbed themselves “Harlem Shakes.” Their debut album Technicolor Health was released March 24, 2009.
In 2011 Baauer released a electronic-type song relating to the Harlem shake dance. The song received popularity due to an internet meme of the same name, which is not related to the dance. This meme consists of one person (often masked) dancing to the song alone, surrounded by other people going about their business without paying attention to the dancing individual. When the bass drops, the camera transitions to the entire crowd doing the dance, often appearing scantily clad.
Harlem shake (dance)
The Harlem Shake is an Internet phenomenon based on viral videos that began to gain popularity in February 2013.1 The videos feature the song Harlem Shake by electronic musician Baauer, and a dancing style not to be confused with the original Harlem Shake.2 Normally, each video begins with one person (often masked) dancing to the song alone, surrounded by other people unaware of the dancing individual. When the bass drops, the camera transitions to the entire crowd doing the dance, often appearing scantily clad.
Manner of the videos resembles another viral video shot on Gamle Bridge[v 2] in 2012.
Numerous commenters have compared the Harlem shake to the outgoing Gangnam Style.3
A website, HarlemShakeup.com, was created for the sharing of Harlem Shake videos
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