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Will your company be doing the Harlem Shake?

The Harlem Shake 'taps into employees’ need to feel, connect and belong.' Could we be entering the age of viral team-building?


February 21, 2013 11:53 by

Since it exploded on the internet two weeks back, the Harlem Shake has been going strong with imitations springing up from every dusty corner of the internet. Since the 30-second dance video, popularised by Youtubers Filthy Frank and TheSunnyCoastSkate, was released on February 2nd, more than 40,000 videos inspired by the Harlem Shake have been released.

From high school students, TV shows, cats and inanimate objects, there seems to be no end to the number of people wanting to document themselves doing the Harlem Shake. Brands, as we reported earlier this week, have been getting on the band wagon and so have organisations.

Maker Studios were one of the first organisations to bring the fad to the corporate world. Since then organisations all over have been doing harlem shakes of their own. Here in Dubai, the story is no different. Check out the Harlem Shake as interpreted by the team at Dubizzle, OgilvyAction, Dubai and the Dubai Explorer team at the bottom of this article.

Has your company released its own Harlem Shake? If you think the idea is absurd, think again. It may seem a little silly and a waste of time, but that is the exact reason why Psycologist Dr Shelley Prevost says it is a good idea for organisations. Prevost says the silly dance routine feeds employees’ three most basic desires: to feel, to connect and to belong.

“Help people feel something, anything: excitement, contentment, joy, zeal, flow, effort, curiosity, and you will unleash ambassadors to carry your cause and your company’s mission further than you ever could” Prevost says.

The dance video phenomenon also helps satisfy and encourage that need to feel part of something bigger than yourself. “The scads of people in those Harlem Shake uploads are not random strangers. These dances are planned and performed by a group of people that know each other well. They are a tribe of people – roommates, teammates, coworkers, families – that say to the video-viewing world “we’re together. It’s about trust and identity,” she added.

So, will you be doing the Harlem Shake with your fellow employees? Let us know and if you need some inspiration, check out these videos uploaded by organisations in the UAE.





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