Harlem Shake for Shark Spirit

On Feb. 20, around 160 NSU students — along with Razor the Shark — joined the “Harlem Shake” craze with their own rendition of the dance at the men’s basketball game in the Don Taft University Center Arena.
“The Harlem Shake” seems to be 2013’s response to “Gangnam Style” and has been popularized by people uploading their own versions of the dance. It has a simple formula: a group of participants perform ridiculous dance moves to the electronic music of American DJ and producer, Baauer.
NSU’s video is also now on YouTube and starts with the NSU Sharkettes dancing to Will.I.Am’s “Scream and Shout”. The music suddenly switches to “The Harlem Shake”, which Razor dances to alone in the stands. Once the music drops its first big beat, the entire crowd dances energetically. As of Feb. 24, the video has had over 6,600 views.
The Student Events and Activities Board, known as SEA Board, planned the event and scheduled the video shoot for 8 p.m., during halftime, in hopes that many residential and commuter students would attend.
At halftime, students came to the Don Taft University Center basketball courts, many carrying wacky props — such as plastic shark fins, enlarged photos and Halloween decorations. Many participants also wore quirky clothing — such as suspenders, hats and costumes.
Sarah Rodriquez, a freshman biology student who arrived wearing a tutu and sunglasses with a plastic mustaches attached, said, “I thought ‘The Harlem Shake’ was a simple and inventive way to bring the school together and bring the commuters, like me, back to campus after-hours.”
Raven Sepulveda, sophomore chemistry major said, “It was so much fun. It was something new to get people involved with our basketball team.”
Peter Kwapis, sophomore biology major and resident advisor, said “’The Harlem Shake’ gave me a chance to bring my residents out and get excited about something.”
Danielle McCalla, a sophomore communication studies major and SEA Board’s entertainment chair, said, “I saw the videos online and thought it would be a great idea to get NSU students pumped by making a ‘Harlem Shake’ video. The aim was to get more school-wide support of the basketball team and general spirit.”
While most Harlem Shakers do a repetitive and comedic dance move to the beat of the song, some have performed it as a ballet or Indian folk dance. Already, 40,000 unique Harlem Shake videos have been uploaded to YouTube.
Some of YouTube’s most viewed renditions are the University of Georgia swimmers jamming to it underwater, office workers performing it in their cubicles, soldiers marching to it in the snow and grandmothers dancing to it in a Beijing park.
Shannon Booker, assistant director of student activities, felt the NSU rendition was a success because the shoot had a great turnout and promoted student activities at NSU.
“The dance reached out to potential students and gave our current students the opportunity to have a good time,” Booker said.
However, some students were disappointed, as they hoped that the event would bring many students out to the basketball game. The majority of dance participants arrived to the courts just before halftime and left soon after the filming.
Kristel Tiwari, sophomore finance major said, “People only showed up at halftime to do the video. The purpose was not, fulfilled because when the dance was over, everyone left the game. “
McCalla feels that NSU still has some work to do in getting more students — commuter and residential — involved. She hopes that future SEA Board events will help increase Shark Pride and maybe even show prospective students that NSU has far more to offer than just academics.
To see the video online, visit YouTube and search for “novauniversity”.

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