Taking the Harlem Shake too far?

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ElisaHahnK5

KING5.com

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 1 at 7:02 PM

Just like the dance itself, the Harlem Shake started with one video that went viral and now everyone seems to be joining in.

Hundreds of U.W. students videotaped their rendition in the Red Square last Friday.

"It gives everyone their 15 seconds of fame, so now you can send it to your friends and post it on Facebook," said U.W. freshman Miko Guzzano.

And you can also try to out-do each other. And do yourself in.

The FAA is investigating a group of Colorado College students who convinced passengers on Frontier flight 157 to shake it up mid-flight, with the crew's approval.

And near Detroit, a group of high school students were suspended after doing a raunchy version of the dance with animals on school grounds.

"The problem with this stuff is that it's new very quick and gets old very quickly as well," said Hanson Hosein, director of Communications Leadership for the University of Washington. "So this one-upsmanship is that you have to differentiate yourself. Some people just aren't necessarily taking good taste or civic responsibility into account."

Hosein refers to the phenomena as cultural currency. In some countries like Tunisia or Egypt, participants are using it as a form or protest.

The NBA basketball team Miami Heat uploaded its version, and 24 hours later, it had more than 4 million hits on YouTube.

"We're looking for those universal moments, that we can all relate to," said Hosein. "And this is one of them."

There have been many others: from pop song parodies of "Call Me Maybe," by Carly Rae Jepsen to imitations of international dance videos like "Gangnam Style."

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