The Gophers men's basketball team is doin' it. The Army's doin' it. Everybody's doing the Harlem Shake, the latest group dance craze to go viral, making "Gangnam Style" look sooooo last year. And unlike many trends, this one's reached Minnesota in two weeks, not the usual two years.
The dance dates back to early-1980s Harlem, but it took the new song of the same name by electronic dance music producer Baauer to draw the international masses to a frenzy of online copycat competition. More than 12,000 versions have been uploaded to YouTube with 44 million views and counting.
It doesn't take much skill, just the willingness to frantically flail your limbs and pelvis, in a group, on camera. Typically one person among a staid gathering starts gyrating madly for 15 seconds or so, then suddenly everyone joins in and it's chaos. Unlike a flash mob, there's no attempt to coordinate movements. The Harlem Shake is definitely freestyle.
When the Gophers broke out into a long-limbed version of the Shake to Ke$ha's "Die Young" in the locker room following their win Thursday night, Coach Tubby Smith joined in the revelry, but his dancing was so relatively refined, it's doubtful he's in on the fad. If he is, you can call him the Fred Astaire of Harlem shakers.
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