Warwick Shakes

Hundreds of students turn out for piazza harlem shake…

One might argue the Harlem Shake phenomenon has past its peak, but that did not deter enthusiastic students donning their fancy dress outfits and breaking out their best rave moves for the official Warwick campus Harlem Shake.

The organisers must have been panicking at the prospect of none of the 1000+ promised attendees honouring their Facebook promises, and ten minutes before the event was due to start the piazza remained pretty empty with only a few awkward small congregations daring each other to make the first move.


Hordes of students did soon appear in all manner of fancy dress: superhero costumes, morphsuits and even vintage charity shop clothes. Many seemed unwilling to commit to the event, and so stood on the edge of the piazza and wiggled a bit once the music started. Others whole-heartedly went for it, throwing out the kind of moves usually confined to the sticky floors of Pop.

Brave from this guy.

As one might expect, organising such a large mass of people proved very arduous, even for the bright minds of Warwick Sabb officers. SU President, Nick Swain, fresh from celebrating the personal success of a 24/7 Costcutter, quickly claimed the Harlem Shake was also his idea all along and blared organisational instructions from a megaphone. As anyone who was there will testify, it was remarkable how much precision, technicality and pedantry went into organising this spontaneous and free-spirited event.

Rumour has it he claims to have started the craze…

After a period of shuffling and shifting, each person was exactly where the TV crew wanted them and we started with shake leader pelvic thrusting his way through the intro. Then the crowd squeezed in for a minute or so of hardcore rave. Warwick Bass did well – the music was very loud and whoever filmed it did a good job of keeping the camera straight.

All in all, it was a rare social success for Warwick; initially, the Facebook event must have been met with a strong degree of scepticism but it seems the power of the Shake was enough to bring a lot of us out of our anti-social grumpiness.

In true Warwick style though, there was a slightly sour aftertaste to the whole thing. The video revealed that the events’ organisers had the ulterior motive of using the internet sensation to advertise some student’s obscure start-up company. I’m sure Business School professors are swelling with pride.