BY KELBY K. CLARK
On Tuesday Feb. 19, approximately 100 eager County College of Morris students converged on the Madeline D. and Joseph J. Longo Planetarium to engage in a bit of fun, nonsensical dancing. The students participated in a campus-wide, Harlem Shake sponsored by the student club, The Young Entrepreneurs of America.
The Harlem Shake is a dance move that originated in the 1980s, in Harlem, New York. The dance move originally gained popularity through its prevalence in hip hop music videos. Now, in 2013 the dance move has made a comeback with the help of YouTube and a number of other social media outlets. The music is played in sequence with the dance. It’s an electronic song produced by music artist, Baauer, and it is now the background music to all the Harlem Shake viral videos. The dance has now become the world’s newest dance craze seemingly almost overnight.
“As of Feb. 11, there have been over 12,000 “Harlem Shake” videos, and they’ve been watched more than 44 million times,” said Joana Stern, technology editor for ABC News. “Now, YouTube says over 4,000 of these crazy dance videos are being uploaded per day.”
These approximately 12,000 videos feature groups of all ages and ethnicities performing the dance in offices, schools, pools, and other places worldwide. Many students from notable colleges and universities across the country have uploaded their version of the Harlem Shake to YouTube. The CCM students that participated at the campus-wide event in mid-February are now a part of this giant group.
Members of the Young Entrepreneurs of America planned and organized the entire ‘Harlem Shake’ event within five days.
“We saw it as a self-proposed challenge,” said Nicholas Cruz, the president of Young Entrepreneurs of America. “We wanted to break out of our shell and show CCM what the business club can really do.”
The Harlem Shake began as a simple idea, an event for specifically Young Entrepreneurs of America members to participate in, but then it was suggested to include the entire CCM student body. Once the members of Young Entrepreneurs of America made the decision to plan the event,they got permission from the college’s Planetarium Astronomer Chris Fenwick to host the event in the Madeline D. and Joseph J. Longo Planetarium. Members of the Young Entrepreneurs of America then began to advertise around campus, and primarily communicate the news to the student body through Facebook.
“We invited one hundred plus people . . . people started telling their friends, and from there it blew up,” said Seth Plotnick, vice p resident of Young Entre- preneurs of America. “We never expected to have that many people, everyone was so happy with the final product and it came out great.”
When the participating students finally all gathered in the planetarium that February afternoon, dressed in all different kinds of costumes and attire, the music began and students danced and shook nonstop for a video camera. The dancing lasted for approximately two minutes, and when it was over many students left in a better mood, and were glad to have participated in the event.
“The Harlem Shake event at CCM was different,” said Toqeer Awan, a biology major at CCM. “We experienced fun, craziness and a sense of unity. CCM is a college no different than big universities where besides learning, students don’t miss on creating moments of enjoyment.”
Although, a number of students from high schools, colleges, and universities across the country have received minor pun- ishments, and in some cases expulsion for their involvement in the dance video, the members of Young Entrepreneurs of America along with the other students that participated in this event were not reprimanded for their actions.
The Harlem Shake will not be the last event Young Entrepreneurs of America will sponsor. Students can look forward to more Young Entrepreneurs of America hosted events throughout the semester including a trip to Wall Street and a meet-and-greet with Dr. Yaw, the President of CCM.
Yet, the Harlem Shake was an event that will remain in student’s memories for being fun and unifying.
“. . . So cool just to watch the student body come together on a rainy day and have a little party before class,” said Cruz. “How often do you get to do that?”