By Blair Thurman, North Cross School
With the rise of social media, one popular video on YouTube can quickly generate hundreds or even thousands of parody versions. “Harlem Shake” from electronic music producer Baauer is the latest video to trend.
Harlem Shake videos have been uploaded by universities, bands, businesses and even firefighters. One of the first YouTube videos, titled “Harlem Shake v3 (office edition),” has more than 30 million views and 80,000 “likes” since it was uploaded Feb. 7.
The videos typically begin with one person wearing a mask doing a hip thrust, while everyone around them goes about their normal business. When the beat of the song drops, the scene changes to people dancing all over the place in wild costumes or masks.
High school students at Salem, Glenvar and North Cross are just a few groups that have captured the spirit of the video.
At Salem High School, senior Erin Crigger decided to organize her art class for one of the funny videos.
“My favorite place to spend my time is YouTube. So one day I was on YouTube just looking through recommended videos, and just browsing I came across one of the listed viral videos called Harlem Shake,” said Crigger. “It was one of the most stupid but yet funny videos I had seen in a while. So I thought why not try it out.”
Crigger showed a Harlem Shake video to her classmates, and they all agreed to participate in one of their own. Crigger even helped place her classmates around the room to where she thought would look best.
Marina Hafey, a senior at Glenvar High School, helped coordinate a video with a humanitarian slant.
“We did the Harlem Shake to promote both the Relay for Life event that went on at Cave Spring Middle School and also to promote our own Glenvar Avenger 5K,” said Hafey. “The theme of the Harlem Shake was Avenger-themed. So we wanted to tie both of them together.”
Hafey was pleased with the way her video turned out.
“I honestly wouldn’t change a thing,” she said. “I think the whole event went very well, and it got the entire student body excited for these important events around the community. It was a great way to get everyone involved for a good cause.”
A group of North Cross students recorded their video on the last day before spring break. School registrar Susan Baker helped them make and promote the video.
“We saw other prominent Virginia schools like UVa, JMU and Virginia Tech doing the Harlem Shake, and we knew that North Cross School had to have one, as well,” Baker said. “We were not going to be left out.”
Each school showed their flair by joining in on the social trend. The only question now is — what video trend will be next?