UAF gets its Harlem Shake on

Lakeidra Chavis/ Sun Star Reporter
February 19, 2013

UAF student John Robert Ancheta pretends to photograph UAF students Juan Cruz, Benjamin Hurlock and Angel Vasquez posing during the beginning sequence of the “UAF Harlem Shake” on Sunday, February 17, 2013. Annie Bartholomew/Sun Star

UAF student John Robert Ancheta pretends to photograph UAF students Juan Cruz, Benjamin Hurlock and Angel Vasquez posing during the beginning sequence of the “UAF Harlem Shake” on Sunday, February 17, 2013. Annie Bartholomew/Sun Star

Muscular guys wearing horse masks, intense body shaking and an addicting beat have taken the web by storm. Everyone from the Swedish Army to the University of Georgia Swim Team to Slender Man have been featured in it. It’s been done underwater, in the gym and in the Montreal Subway. It’s the Harlem Shake and this internet web meme sensation has come to UAF. 

The original video first appeared on the web in early January. It lasts 30 seconds, and during the first 15 seconds a individual usually wearing some type of mask is pivoting his shoulders while Brooklyn artist Bauuer’s Harlem Shake is playing in the background. According to the Press-Enterprise, the song premiered last year but has now become popular due to the meme. The song has even reached the iTunes’ “Top Songs” list, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The masked person dances while the people around him don’t notice he’s there. Around the 15 second mark, the beat drops and a deep voice says “Do the Harlem Shake.” The video then cuts to people dancing and wearing crazy costumes.

Last Sunday, around 20 UAF students donned banana costumes, morph suits, ski gear and sleeping bags in subzero weather in front of the UAF time and temperature sign. The filming began at 1 p.m. and lasted approximately 15 minutes. Marketing and Communications Multimedia Coordinator Andrew Cassel reordered the iconic video.

“We just saw everyone else doing it,” said 20-year-old Business student and Student Activities Office assistant, Teal Rogers. Rogers said that students contacted her and asked her to put together a Harlem Shake video for UAF.

The song blasted from SAO Assistant Director Cody Roger’s car while students drove up next to the sign and joined the video shoot.

“I wanted to come out and support the snuggie,” said 22-year-old Justice student Tristain Hall, who was wearing a bright yellow UAF snuggie. “The videos I’ve seen online are just too funny. So I definitely want to help represent Alaska.”

Other students wanted to participate simply for the fun of it. “I wanted to do the video because I saw them and they were really fun,” said 18-year-old Political Science student, Alyssa Quintyne. Quintyne said that once she heard about the UAF Harlem she, “had to get on that.”

This isn’t the first Harlem Shake video to come out of UAF. The UAF Men’s Nanook Hockey Team shot the video in their bus, while they were traveling on the road. KSUA shot their video in a radio booth, featuring hipsters covered in tattoos and a girl grinding on a desk. Residence Life were also inspired by the video craze. Cutler Apartment residents and students shot their video in the RA office, while Moore Hall residents rocked out in the dorm’s lounge.

Being called the new “Gangnam Style” by numerous newspapers and magazines, Harlem Shake has made a mark on UAF.

Vote on your favorite UAF Harlem Shake video in the comments:

Nanook Hockey Harlem Shake

Cutler Harlem Shake

KSUA Harlem Shake

Moore Hall Harlem Shake

UAF wide Harlem Shake

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