Stony Brook University freshman Moshe Ben-Zacharia arrived at the top of the Staller Center for the Arts steps dressed from head to toe in bright yellow Spandex and a mask of Bane, a character in the movie “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.”
He fit right in. Ben-Zacharia was among hundreds of Stony Brook students dressed in costumes ranging from a giraffe, a banana, horses and a clown who danced in a “Harlem Shake” flash mob Wednesday afternoon.
“When I heard about this event, I was just like, why not?” Ben-Zacharia said through his mask.
The Harlem Shake, a dance first made popular in the ‘80s, reemerged in a big way after a parody video on YouTube went viral earlier this month. It had more than 14 million views as of Wednesday and has spawned a plethora of spin-offs.
The event was the brainchild of freshman John Feinberg, who said he wanted to put together the flash mob and related video, which will be posted in the next several days on YouTube and on the Wolfie Seawolf Facebook page, to foster “ultra Stony Brook pride.”
Feinberg teamed up with senior campus radio host Robert “Rack’em” Wranovics and Stony Brook Compliments, a student activism group, to spread the word. Stony Brook’s Student Life office was also involved.
“Originally, this started out as a group of only 30 people,” Feinberg said. “Then we made a Facebook group and it kind of exploded.”
More than 3,000 people were invited to the event via Facebook, and 694 signed up. Even Wolfie, Stony Brook University’s official mascot, joined in.
The event was monitored by university police and the volunteer ambulance corps.
The event was held during a weekly campus-wide break. Several takes were done from 1-2 p.m.
Dressed in a horse mask, senior Matvey Sirotkin, said, “Overall, I think it went pretty well.”
“What makes this video different from other universities is that we wanted to bring in some Stony Brook spirit,” Wranovics said. “What better way to do it than with our mascot Wolfie there?”