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Students (Harlem) Shake It Up On Campus


Students gather to "Harlem Shake" on the quad
Students gather to “Harlem Shake” on the quad

 A little rain and some overcast skies didn’t stop Brooklyn College students from shooting their “Harlem Shake” video in the grassy quadrangle last Tuesday.

The video, which was posted on Youtube later that day, has amassed over 10,000 views.

Around 100 students took part in the wild and vivacious event, which piggybacked off of the “Harlem Shake” video movement that has exploded across this Internet. Hundreds of spin-off videos, most about 30-seconds long, have been posted on Youtube and other public video websites from all over the world..

Brooklyn College’s version kicked off with a lone student, dressed as “Finn the Human,” the protagonist from the Emmy-award winning cartoon “Adventure Time,” thrusting his hips against the ground. This costume was in step with the majority of the spin-off videos, which typically start with a single person in costume wearing a mask, hat, or helmet and gyrating recklessly.

The scene exploded when the beat dropped in from with movement’s theme song, “Harlem Shake,” by Brooklyn-based producer Baauer. Dozens of students flooded into the camera’s view to perform random vicarious dance moves.

Students ran around screaming, jumping, and krumping. One student did the classic version of the “Harlem Shake,” a dance that dates back to the ’80s, which may now be slipping into obscurity in face of the contemporary makeover. Some people threw jackets or other pieces of clothing into the air as other students, bundled up in their winter attire, looked at the conviviality.

BC Students break out their best moves for the "Harlem Shake" craze
BC Students break out their best moves for the “Harlem Shake” craze

The organizer of the event, Dmitriy Milkis, is proud of the video, even though he didn’t get the full turn out he wanted. “I’ve come to realize that this event was meant for those courageous enough to do it. Those of us that did had a blast. Those who did not missed out on one of the most ridiculous events of the year.”

Gathering the group of students was “chaotic,” [RS1] says Megan Pendergast. “We had no idea it was starting and we only filmed once. But, it was so much fun and is a college story I will never forget. After all, how often do you get to rock a bathing suit in 30 degree weather?”

Many students dressed up in costumes, such as giant bananas, cartoon characters, and even a robot for the shoot. One student appeared as Chuckie Finster, the bucktoothed redhead from “Rugrats,” complete with a mask and matching outfit.

After all was said and done, the students returned to their regular school schedule, leaving the quad to resume to its common state of flux, as if nothing had happened.

This campus camaraderie comes just in time, after the divisive Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions events on Feb. 7 polarized the campus and much of the New York City.

“It was nice seeing so much school spirit on campus”, says Chyna Bartholomew. “Seeing all the different people sharing such positive energy was inspiring.”

The “Harlem Shake” video trend began only three weeks ago when four guys in elastic body suits flailed around on camera for 35 seconds. Their video has recorded over 20 million views.

College campuses around the country have staged their own remakes. The University of Texas at Austin claim to have filmed the “biggest” video, with what appears to be hundreds of participants, and the University of Georgia swim team got creative and filmed their version underwater. Even the Norwegian military and the Manchester City Football Club have videos online.

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