Shake with Style!

Jo Leen's articleBy Yong Jo Leen

Most of you Monashians would have already known by now the two dance crazes, Harlem Shake and Gangnam Style, that have taken over the Web especially because of the proliferation of numerous social media platforms. Those of you who do not know what exactly these two dances are, well, perhaps it’s time you should… unless you cannot be bothered.

Both videos of Harlem Shake and Gangnam Style were uploaded onto YouTube. The former went viral after a group of bored Australian teenagers fueled their own ideas into the dance which was initially conceptualized by Filthy Frank. Interestingly, Harlem Shake was pioneered in the 1980s but DJ Baauer added his own interpretation of electronic dance beats to make it current, catchy, and upbeat. The video starts off with a group of people standing around nonchalantly while a single person, helmeted or masked, dances. At the fifteen-second mark, the other unaware people in the group join in the craze. Many praised the 30-second long video for being simplistic yet fun. Gangnam style, on the other hand, was recorded by South Korean rapper Psy under the label YG Entertainment. What makes Gangnam Style unique is the entertaining horse dance that nobody could rival, yet, many wish to imitate. Apart from the highly infectious beat that easily gets stuck in anyone’s head, the music video which accompanies it serves as a mockery to those who live exquisitely in the area of Gangnam; a district that could be likened to Beverly Hills in the US.

There is no denying that both the dances have gone viral, with Harlem Shake taking over Gangnam Style, which sparked debate and prompted articles with headings such as ‘Move Over Gangnam Style’ and ‘Gangnam Style is Dead’. In such a short span of time, Harlem Shake is gaining popularity and taking over universities, offices and even museums as reported by Reuters. In fact, recently, just after the graduation ceremony in March, some Monash University graduates happily danced to Harlem Shake, which symbolized a fitting celebration to at least three years of blood, sweat and tears. Then again, in terms of entertainment value, implicit message and originality, Gangnam Style will still be the dance that rocked the world, at least for me. Despite what has been said about Harlem Shake and its simplicity and it being a stress reliever, I feel that Gangnam Style has a slight edge over Harlem Shake. After all, my fellow Monashians, do not tell me you were neutral about the spectacular Gangnam Style flash mob that took place last year right in front of our library.

And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can check out the following links:

Gangnam Style Flash Mob (Monash):,

Monash Graduates do the Harlem Shake after convocation:,

Sydney Morning Herald’s report on how Harlem Shake went viral:,

Gangnam Style Music Video:

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