Students create official George Mason University "Harlem Shake" video

Over 200 students came out to collborate on a Mason version of the viral hit "The Harlem Shake" (photo courtesy of  Ryan Glass).
Over 200 students came out to collborate on a Mason version of the viral hit "The Harlem Shake" (photo courtesy of Ryan Glass).

What started off as a way to pass time during a slow day in Australia has become an instant viral hit. These “Harlem Shake” videos have become the latest pop culture hit. With millions of views on YouTube, everyone has joined in the craze.

Not to be confused with the popular hip-hop dance of the same name, this “Harlem Shake” dance is  quite different. The video features DJ Baauer’s song “Harlem Shake” while people dance frantically around after the first downbeat is dropped. A group of people are seen standing around, while one individual dances on their own. Once the beat is dropped, the people around that person begin to dance frantically.

Inspired by the popularity of the videos, George Mason University’s own students decided to create their own version of the dance and post a video of it online.

Vince Gomes, a senior at Mason, created the Facebook page to invite people to be a part of the shooting. In less than four days, over 200 students had joined the page. Ryan Glass, another Mason student, agreed to direct the video.

“I asked Ryan, you know we should make a Harlem Shake video,” Gomes said. “We kind of make artistic hardcore videos so we decided to go out of the box with the Harlem Shake videos.”

Having recently launched his own Youtube channel, Glass quickly agreed to help direct the video.

“I saw that everyone was going crazy with this video online. Everyone that seemed to be doing this video got millions of hits,” Glass said.

This past Sunday, the entrance level of Southside was transformed as a motley crew of Mason students gathered to film the popular “Harlem Shake” dance.

“We weren’t really sure what the turnout was going to be but we had a ton of people come out today I’m honestly surprised,” Glass said.

Dressed in anything from a horse mask to a power ranger outfit, Mason students were excited to make their own version of the “Harlem Shake” video.

The video was shot in four different locations around campus: outside of Southside, the Johnson Center, in front of the Mason Statue and at the Lecture Hall.

“It’s an opportunity to do something stupid before I graduate,” said Elyse Anderson, a senior at Mason who was one of the participants in the filming.

Other Mason students joined the video shoot simply to have fun.

“I like to shake it Harlem style,” said Nasia Olinger, a junior at Mason.

Glass and Gomes, along with Mason student Omar Zaki, had also previously shot a Parkour video that became an instant viral hit on YouTube.

When asked why they wanted to participate, students such as junior Marion Nieto simply replied, “I like to be epic.”

For others, however, demonstrating school spirit was the real motivation for taking part  in the video.

“It was a lot of fun. It was cool to meet people who really wanted our school to have the biggest one,” said Kathleen Welch, a sophomore at Mason.

The sheer silliness concept brought out a lot of Mason students to participate.

“The video always looks like so much fun and I feel like it is something that will connect everyone to Mason,” said Kristin House, a Mason sophomore, who also took part in the video. “It’s an excuse to wear whatever you want.”

What makes this video unique is more than just the excitement of Mason students. Glass wanted to shoot the video in a way that no one has shot it before.

“Nobody’s yet to use a glide cam while doing their video. It gives a little bit of a different perspective,” Glass said.

After the shoot, Glass edited and posted the “Harlem Shake” video to his YouTube channel Sunday evening.

The video was quickly shared by numerous Mason students on Facebook and Twitter. President Cabrera even joined in the sharing when he retweeted the YouTube link to his Twitter acount.

Within a day, the video has already been viewed over 15,000 times. With that, the Mason community is quickly making sure that their version of “Harlem Shake” becomes an instant viral hit.


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