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In praise of - Harlem Shake.

Still perfecting that Gangnam Style party piece?

That's sooooo last year. It's all about the Harlem Shake now. With its oddly mesmerising catchy tune and even more perturbing dance moves, it's the latest viral sensation to sweep the internet. All the cool kids are doing it (apparently).

For the uninitiated the premise is simple: each clip starts with one person – usually sporting some kind of headwear – dancing alone to the track by Baauer, an American DJ, while the rest of the room ignores them. Then, when the beat kicks in, everyone else starts dancing, a series of bizarre props and outlandish costumes appearing: inflatable giraffes, traffic cones, Hawaiian shorts, sleeping bags, skimpy underwear and BMX bikes.

The phenomenon is believed to have originated in Queensland, Australia, earlier this month. Among the most popular clips is Harlem Shake v1 showing five American students gyrating in their dorm room, attracting 11 million hits, and Harlem Shake v3 (office edition) which has been viewed close to 16m times.

Others feature firefighters, a high school gym class, pro swimmers and, my favourite, Harlem Shake (original army edition) which shows a uniformed Norwegian unit descending into chaos in snow.

Not everyone gets it. Some upcoming British cycling stars posted a brilliant clip last week only for it to be swiftly removed, it is believed, on the orders of a coach. Which, if it's true, is miserably reminiscent of parents being outraged when Elvis swivelled his hips in the 1950s.

Unlike Gangnam Style, this dance craze allows for a spot of ad-libbing, which is good news for those born with two left feet. I warn you, once you get stuck in the Harlem Shake loop on YouTube, you could be there for days ...

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