What is the Harlem Shake?

Canadian university students go crazy for dance meme


The Harlem Shake, a dance move popularized by New York DJ Baauer, may be the fastest-spreading meme on Canadian campuses… ever? The copycat YouTube videos have been made by everyone from a father-and-son duo to Norwegian soldiers, but few groups have moved for the cameras more than our own university students. Canadian students’ videos are racking up tens of thousands of views per day. The jig is simpler than Gangnam Style: one person, usually wearing a mask, flails around unnoticed until suddenly, through the miracle of editing, everyone joins in. So far Western University is leading in the competition for clicks at 170,000. But they’re about to face some challengers. More than 1,000 have signed up on Facebook for Wednesday’s taping at Brock University. More than 450 say they’ll attend at the University of British Columbia on Friday. At Queen’s University 1,200 have accepted the invitation. At the University of Toronto 700 have. At McGill it’s 500.

Western University’s, posted on Sunday, had 170,000 views by Monday.

The University of Guelph’s, posted Saturday, had 160,000 views.

This one, from Wilfrid Laurier University, has 100,000 views.

This response, from the nearby University of Waterloo, has 88,000.

McMaster University’s Deadmau5-featuring version was at 30,000 and climbing.


What is the Harlem Shake?

  1. First it was Lip-Dubbing, then remixes of Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow”, then Gangnam Style…now this. When will Canadian universities either a) stop copying each other copying a viral video or trend or b) come up with something totally original…see the American ‘That’s Why I Chose Yale’ or ‘Midd Kid’ as examples

    • As soon as Canada starts creating good Universities.

  2. Dude, the Harlem Shake dance move dates from 1981. Y U NO knowyourmeme.com?

    • You misunderstand me. I was listing in chronological order the trends among Canadian universities copying viral videos not the original videos themselves. After Guelph did one last week, Western did one and now other schools are following suit in quick succession IN 2013!

      • I ain’t talking to you, goof. Josh says “The Harlem Shake, a dance move popularized by New York DJ Baauer…” because “The Harlem Shake, an early-80s hip-hop dance move recently re-popularized by New York DJ Baauer…” is apparently either too long to fit on the internet or is too respectful of black culture for Macleans.

        Also none of these people are actually doing the Harlem Shake.

  3. Look Twenty20, if you want to take part in a Canadian University Harlem Shake video so bad, just ask. You don’t have to come on here posting about your jealousy.

  4. Guelph one is up to almost 3 million views…