Wu Shakes It Up

Richard Kelly

A newly trending Internet fad hit Washburn’s campus Thursday afternoon.

The dance, known as the “Harlem Shake,” took over YouTube in the last week, with some videos reaching millions of views. It made its way to Topeka Thursday, when roughly 60 students gathered in the Living Learning Center to participate.

The popular theme through the videos is a masked individual doing a rhythmic motion for the first 15 seconds of the video, followed by a large group of people appearing around the 15 second mark, who are all doing spontaneous and random actions. Costumes are also prevalent. The videos are all synchronized to the song “Harlem Shake” by Baauer.

Washburn sophomore Andy Huff discovered the dance early this week and quickly made a Facebook event, inviting hundreds of students to come participate. He wasn’t sure originally if the event would be allowed in the LLC, but after he got the “yes” from Brad Turnbull, assistant director of residential living, the event was a go.

“I decided ‘Washburn can do that in its own way and show some school spirit,’” said Huff. “Turns out, people latched on quick.”

The event, which was expected to start around 2:30 p.m. Thursday actually hit a roadblock right before recording started, as Turnbull came to announce a fire alarm had gone off and all students would have to evacuate the building. Following roughly a 20 minute wait, including the arrival of three fire department vehicles, the event was back on track.

Sophomore Micah Offerman, who participated in the event while in a gorilla costume, said the wait due to the false alarm just made everyone go crazier.

“I think the frustration of the firetruck just made everyone go insane during the dance,” said Offerman. “I think everyone was just dying of anticipation. We all ran back in and were just like ‘let’s film this thing.’”

Junior Margeaux Seymour, who also participated, said she was skeptical at first after watching the video, but as she watched it more, it grew on her.

“The first time I actually saw the video, I was just like ‘what in the world is this?’” said Seymour. “The more I watched, the more I thought it was crazy awesome and just looked like fun.”

The video filming itself only took roughly five minutes of time, in which all of the students in the LLC lobby danced themselves silly. Huff, adorned in a Barack Obama mask during the video, said he hopes this inspires more events like this in the future.

“It really goes to show that if you want to do an event, do it,” said Huff. “You can do anything to show school spirit and have fun.”