Though it started in 1981, the Harlem shake became mainstream in 2001 when G. Dep featured the dance in his music video "Let's Get It".
The Harlem shake is commonly associated with a similar dance move called 'The Chicken Noodle Soup'. The "Chicken Noodle Soup" evolved from the Harlem shake and exploded into popularity in the summer of 2006 when DJ Webstar and Young B brought it to the mainstream. The dance is referred to in the CunninLynguists song, "Old School", in Mac Dre's song, "Thizzle Dance," and in Nelly's song, "Dilemma". A band from New York City took the name of the dance and dubbed themselves Harlem Shakes.
In February 2013, an unrelated song named "Harlem Shake" originally uploaded to YouTube on May 10, 2012, went viral and became an Internet meme (see Harlem Shake meme). The "dance" being done in the Internet meme is not the Harlem shake.
And so, I did mine too. In conjunction with the Water Snake Chinese New Year 2013.