Lessons from the Harlem Shake

Last week, I participated in a meme attempt – a local spin on the Harlem Shake, a song that spawned a series of dance videos that have been circulating the Internet (check out this example from UK).  Let’s be clear – before this, I’d never even heard of an Internet meme, and suddenly I was being asked to share my dancing skills with the world. I certainly know things can go viral online – for better or for worse – and I was a bit hesitant.  Let me explain.

For the past several years, KNN has partnered with Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Executives  to travel across Kentucky and present information about board roles and responsibilities with local Chamber board members.  It’s been a great opportunity because these community leaders also often serve on the boards of charitable nonprofits – so, it’s a partnership and educational opportunity that benefits many.

We kicked off our 2013 workshops in Murray and wrapped up our morning by creating our own version of the Harlem Shake.  While most of these business leaders resisted participating at first, by the time the camera was rolling, they’d fine-tuned their dance moves and embraced the silliness.

I share this story because this ridiculous exercise was worthwhile.  Sometimes I take myself too seriously, and cutting loose and acting silly with others was freeing, a stress reliever and good for the soul.  Whether it be through dance, an Internet meme or something else – I encourage you to give it a try in whatever forum you feel is safe.  And since, by definition, an Internet meme is intended to go viral, I will swallow my embarrassment and share our video with you.  Share your story (or video!) with us – how has your organization blown off a little steam?


Danielle Clore

Executive Director


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