Dance on YouTube: 5-year anniversary of the treadmill dance

Happy anniversary!! That’s right: 5 years ago this month the band OK Go released their huge hit music video for the song Here It Goes Again. And if you were somehow hibernating at that time and missed out on the hullaballoo, it is literally a choreographed routine with treadmills performed by the band members. And it is brilliant.

My first post highlighting online dance videos featured OK Go’s first ever zany dance music video, A Million Ways – the silly backyard dance that started it all. One year later, OK Go majorly upped the ante with Here It Goes Again. In just 6 days, over one million people had watched the video. One million! Which is even more impressive when you consider this was back in 2006, when YouTube was still young and before we even knew what Twitter was. To date, the video has accrued over 50 million views. It also received the 2007 Grammy award for Best Short Form Music Video as well as the 2006 YouTube award for Most Creative Video.

Personally, I loved the video from the first time I saw it, blown away by the musicality, precision, and creative use of treadmills. But I also remember it fondly because it was used by a college professor of mine for our Dance History final exam. She played the video for us then gave us a prompt to write about, which I believe  had something to do with discussing dance in pop culture. I also believe I was quite impressed that my professor was so in-tune to current technological trends. In any case, I want to send a special shout out to my professor as well as, of course, the members of OK Go and the choreographer for both routines, Trish Sie (the lead singer’s sister). And I would be remiss to not also alert your attention to the stellar song that the treadmill dance is done to, advising you to check out the band’s website for even more stellar songs.

Lastly, although it’s not a dance video really, you should also check out OK Go’s video for This Too Shall Pass, the Rube Goldberg Machine version (as shown below). It’s impressive in a completely different, high-level engineering sort of way. Just insane:

Update: check out my third and follow-up post on OK Go dance videos here

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  1. Thanks for this little history. I had no idea this vid was so popular…but of course I can see why. But, hey, if you’re going to shout out to your professor, why not shout out her name? It would be a nice endorsement and professors need that!

    • You are completely, right, Renee – professors (especially good ones) deserve all the credit they can get. But I wasn’t sure that my prof wanted her name splashed on the web, so I left it anonymous. I did share the post with her, though, so she knows that I think she’s awesome.

  2. Ah, I remember this video. It was amazing, it was never done before, it easily hooked anyone that watched it. They were brilliant in coming up with the idea.

  3. Seen this video before and it is great.

  4. The “Monkey Man (Bill) ” from Parker Colorado has been doing treadmill dancing for over five years. he’s 66 years old and can dance for hours on the treadmill. Check him out at Parker Life Time.

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