Lawrence, MA – Two young men were arrested Thursday for disorderly conduct. More specifically, they are being charged for “bad dancing.” Even more specifically, they were busted for dancing the “Harlem Shake,” or possibly the “Dougie.”
CBS Boston reports that police showed up to South Lawrence East School on Thursday to disperse a group of about 50 young people who were causing a disturbance. Humorously, the police report noted that the officers couldn’t tell whether the group were performing the “Harlem Shake” or the “Dougie.”
According to the Eagle-Tribune, Patrolman Radames Gonzalez responded to the call, which said that a large group of teens were preparing to fight. When he got there, he saw “50 to 60 kids grouped together walking through the Lawrence Housing Authority property” and headed to the school.
Gonzalez and police Captain Michael Driscoll ordered the group to disperse.
“I announced my presence on the public announcement system to disperse or we would have to begin arresting people,” Gonzalez wrote. “It was at this moment I observed Shamal Nelson and Demarius Mckeithen begin to dance in the middle of the street with a dance I interpreted as the ‘Dougie’ or ‘Harlem Shake.'”
The two dancers caused the gathered crowd to “chant and cheer at their nonsensical behavior,” which caused traffic interruptions in the area. Officers arrested the pair, charging them with disorderly conduct. Another young man attempted to block the arresting officers, and was arrested for disorderly conduct as well.
The “Harlem Shake” is 2013’s earliest viral hit. Video posted to YouTube usually show one person dancing while a group gathered nearby seem bored or disinterested. When the beat drops, everyone in the room starts dancing wildly, usually wearing masks or strange outfits.
The “Dougie” is much older, from the pop song “Teach Me How to Dougie.” The “Dougie” is a less-corporate dance, which involves stepping side to side, swaying the hips, and rotating the shoulders.
Of course, we’ve embedded examples of both below for your viewing pleasure: