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Everyone loves a dance craze

The “Harlem Shake”—a pop culture phenomenon that’s part dance and part costumed chaos, all performed to a techno song created by Brooklyn-based electronic music producer and DJ Baauer—has taken the world by storm,topped the Billboard charts, and sent YouTube into convulsions. The original 30-second video on the site went viral and has attracted more than 12 million views so far. But like a virus, the real point of the Shake is to replicate, and subsequent “Harlem Shake” videos collectively created and uploaded by imitators have garnered more than 175 million views to date.

A typical video goes as follows: one person, usually in costume— say, a feather boa and a pink onesie— begins to dance or shake their torso, while others in their company look on, seemingly unaware. Ten or so seconds into the video, the others suddenly appear in costume shaking to their full potential.

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