Chemistry class contributes to viral Harlem Shake sensation

Stacey Kim and Rachel Kogan, Staff Writers

One tenth grade class “Harlem shook” it up, the chemistry way.  The Harlem Shake started after five teenagers from Queensland, Australia posted a video on YouTube, on Feb. 20.

This video, like all of the responses, feature one individual spontaneously beginning to flail his body around while dancing provocatively, after which many other people suddenly join in.

The whole thing is a comical meme to an excerpt of a song called “Harlem Shake” by the rapper Baauer.  “Filthy Frank,” a comedy YouTube vlogger, took the original video from them and applied additional features such as costumed people and dance movements, creating the new YouTube trend.

The trend caught on with the students of Ms. Joy Grasso-Krebs’ Honors Chemistry class, which created its own video.  Since a student uploaded the video, entitled “Harlem Shake, Chemistry Edition,” to YouTube on Feb. 22, the video has had nearly three thousand views.

During a lab experiment, students approached Ms. Grasso-Krebs with the idea of creating a “Harlem Shake, Chemistry Edition.”

“I said to them, if you really want to do this, you figure it out, you orchestrate it, come prepared and you have thirty minutes,” said Ms. Grasso-Krebs.  “That was all the time I gave them and they had to work with it.”

After the completion of the lab, the students spent the rest of the period discussing ideas for the video.  The next day, they brought costumes into class and filmed their video.

The second half of the video featured two teachers from Schreiber.  Math teacher Ms. Andrea Martinez paid a visit, after the students refused to disclose the secret during their math class.

After the video was filmed, sophomore Drew Hamroff volunteered to edit it. With Ms. Grasso-Krebs’ approval, Hamroff posted the final product on YouTube.  Students found the video through a link that Hamroff posted on Facebook.

Reactions toward the complete work of “Harlem Shake, Chemistry Edition” were generally  positive.

“The video was very entertaining and funny,” said sophomore Alyssa Marshak. “The people in the video seemed to have an amazing time and I loved it!”

Ms. Grasso-Krebs  and the students who participated and performed in the actual video were thrilled with the outcome.

“I was honored that they wanted me in their shake,” said Ms. Grasso-Krebs.  “It will be a memorable event for me and for my current students for years to come.  The effects of the Harlem Shake trend go far beyond entertainment.  It is amazing how this type of social media could enhance school spirit.”