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SYDNEY: A group of Australian teenagers have sparked a Gangnam Style-like viral dance craze called the “Harlem Shake”, with their pelvis-thrusting moves inspiring tens of thousands of Internet copycat clips.
The five-some, from Australia’s Sunshine Coast, have shot to fame with their 31-second clip “The Harlem Shake v1 (TSCS original)”, which has been viewed more than 12 million times since being uploaded to YouTube on February 2.
The video-sharing site said the clip by TheSunnyCoastSkate — which the five Australian skateboarding aficionados shot on a rainy day when they were bored cooped up inside — has led to an explosion of spinoffs.
“As of February 14 the number of ‘Harlem Shake’ videos has increased to around 40,000 — based on video title — and those videos now have 175 million views,” YouTube said on its Australian trends blog.
The pelvis-thrusting clip starts with a helmeted man dancing unnoticed in a room full of people to a song called “Harlem Shake” by the up-and-coming Brooklyn DJ Baauer.
A few seconds later, a number of people break into a wild dance, shaking and twisting, as the bass kicks in. The concept originated with a video blogger named Filthy Frank, but it appears to be the Australian version that sent the meme viral.
“We didn’t start the dance... But we put our own input into it which is why I think it went viral,” TheSunnyCoastSkate said on their Facebook page.
Thousands of “Harlem Shake” clips are being uploaded every day, according to YouTube, with workplaces, locker-rooms, groups of soldiers, train carriages and bus-stops full of people swept up in the craze.