Here is how body language effects our fascination with the YouTube video phenomenon the Harlem Shake

If you have not seen a Harlem Shake Video then you are in for a wild ride and a lost hour on the internet. In February of 2013 an odd little video of three guys in costume dancing to the Harlem Shake peaked on to the internet. Now everyone has a video and top ten lists of the best, most popular, funniest, Harlem shake videos are all over the internet.

Here is how body language effects our fascination with the  YouTube video phenomenon the Harlem Shake.

Our primitive brain tuned to be hunters and watch for changes in the environment such as movement that indicates possible moving game or predators who could eat us. The videos start with a few people who are still with one person moving in a simple seemingly docile repetitive motion.  Our eyes are designed to go toward movement, and because that  person is the only one moving significantly we focus our attention solely on him or her.  He or she does not look scary but they are interesting and the fact that they are moving in synch with the repetive throb of the music helps hold our focus on that one part of the video.  Suddenly the music changes to a wild mix and the still seemingly safe people are moving wildly and in some videos many more people appear looking wild and fierce. Our brain fires on all cylinders and we are captivated. In fact, it gives us such a hit of adrenaline that we crave more and may spend the next hour looking through top ten lists for new unseen Harlem Shake Hit.

Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at