The Saddleback College athletics department tries their hand at the “Harlem Shake”

Students participate in the recreation of a viral video to show support for the Saddleback College athletics department. (Michael Grennell )

H. Margaret Slye

Saddleback College athletes, students and members of the athletics department got together on Mar. 2 in the gym to recreate the popular “Harlem Shake” viral video.

The “Harlem Shake” video is a phenomenon inspired by a song of the same name by Baauer. It has been recreated by universities across the country, from the University of Texas in Austin to the University of Florida, whose “Harlem Shake” video has over 500,000 views on YouTube. The head coach of Saddleback women’s soccer,  B.J. McNicol, saw the videos other colleges had made, and thought that his team should throw Saddleback’s hat into the “Harlem Shake” ring. 

“I had seen it online. I’m the women’s soccer coach, so I checked with my girls, of course they were down. They wanted to include more sports programs, so I asked our [athletic director], Tony Lipold, who is amazing and was like ‘heck yeah, let’s do this, let’s do it big’, and so now everybody is a part of it and we’re super excited,” McNicol said. 

Word eventually reached the rest of the athletics department, as well as Associated Student Government due in part to the efforts of Lipold, athletic director and Dean of kinesiology and physical education. 

“I started it, but it was Tony who allowed it to be this cool,” McNicol said. 

Members of the softball, baseball, dance, soccer and track and field teams, as well as ASG and others showed up in support and in costume on Saturday, ready to participate. 

“We want to support the athletics department at Saddleback,” said ASG member Shayan Akhavon, 19, Pre-med.

The video will begin with the Saddleback Gaucho mascot dancing alone, then will cut to a multitude of participants dancing, and will end with a cheer for Saddleback College. 

The finished product will be posted on YouTube.

UPDATE: The finished “Harlem Shake” video was posted on YouTube on March 4, and can be seen below:


University of Texas at Austin “Harlem Shake”:

University of Florida “Harlem Shake”:

For more info on the Saddleback athletics department go to:

Supporters of the Saddleback College athletics department gather in anticipation of the “Harlem Shake” (Michael Grennell)

(H. Margaret Slye / Lariat)

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