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Harlem Shake

New dance craze reaches ETSU student body

Published: Sunday, February 24, 2013

Updated: Sunday, February 24, 2013 22:02

Gaining more and more views with each second, viral videos are a unique sect of online video that garner both attention and mimicry from their audiences.

Knowing this, it is still surprising to see how the current viral video epidemic has completely replaced a vibrant form of an early 2000’s Hip Hop dance that was born in Harlem — The Harlem Shake.

Back in the early 2000s, the first Harlem Shake entered national households through the form of music videos by G Dep’s “Let’s Get It”, Eve’s “Who’s That Girl” and Jadakiss’ “Put Your Hands Up.”
In 2012, Harry Rodrigues, also known as Baauer of Brooklyn, N.Y., released a song called “Harlem Shake” in 2012.

The song became popular in the electronic dance music genre known as trap.

Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” didn’t receive national attention until a comedian named Filthy Frank used the song for a YouTube video that has now received more than 4.6 million views since it was posted on Feb. 2.

In the video, Frank and his friends put on Power Rangers costumes and did their own dance moves to the chaotic paced song.

The video went viral almost instantly, and within a week, there were countless mimic videos filmed across America. Now the video has reached ETSU.

Senior Andreas Westfield and Alumni track star Michael James were responsible for putting together a Harlem Shake video for ETSU.

“We knew the videos were viral but when colleges started doing them we knew we needed something to represent ETSU,” Westfield said, “when the University of Tennessee [at] Chattanooga put their video out, we had to do it.”

Both students took pride in ETSU and felt that their school could be represented just as well as or even better than UTC, they said.

“We couldn’t let another school in Tennessee outdo us,” Westfield said.

The students used the video as not only as a way to show pride in their school but also to bring the school together.

“I just wish we had more time to get more students but you know how the viral stuff goes,” James said.

Gaining national attention wasn’t the main focus of putting this video together.

“This video was really more for the students so that they can be proud of their school and show school spirit,” Westfield said.

“A lot of students were just proud that their school was involved in something viral and that we were one of hundreds of colleges across the nation.”

The Harlem Shake video to ETSU was much more than just a video epidemic.

It was the start of bringing change to the campus for the long term.

“The video really showed diversity,”  Westfield said. “The way it showed that we could come together and interact on campus in such a positive way, really spoke volumes to me personally.”

The link to the ETSU Harlem Shake video is


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