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Hampster Dance

Definition

The “Hampster Dance” refers to one of the earliest Internet memes and viral videos. It originated as a webpage in 1998 that featured rows of animated hamsters and other rodents dancing in various ways to a sped-up sample from the song “Whistle Stop” by Roger Miller. Over time, it has evolved and has been shared and referenced across numerous platforms.

Phonetic

The phonetic transcription of “Hampster Dance” is: /ˈhæmpstər dæns/

Key Takeaways

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  1. Original Animation: The Hampster Dance is a simple animation that features rows of animated hamsters and other rodents dancing in various ways to a sped-up sample from the song “Whistle Stop.”
  2. Viral Content: Initially created in 1998, it became one of the earliest examples of an Internet meme. The popularity of Hampster Dance highlights the potential for simple and amusing content to quickly go viral via the internet.
  3. Cultural Impact: The Hampster Dance has since been referenced in popular culture in various ways, showing the lasting impact that seemingly random internet trends can have.

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Importance

The term “Hampster Dance” is significant in technology and internet culture because it represents one of the earliest examples of an internet meme and viral phenomenon. Launched in 1998 by Canadian art student Deidre Lacarte, the Hampster Dance website was initially designed as a playful competition entry to generate high web traffic. Featuring rows of animated hamsters and other rodents dancing energetically to a sped-up sample from the song “Whistle Stop,” the site quickly gained notoriety and popularity. The enduring appeal and widespread sharing of the Hampster Dance exemplifies the emerging power of the internet in the late 1990s to quickly spread cultural touchstones and signifies the beginning age of viral user-generated content.

Explanation

The term “Hampster Dance” denotes a popular internet phenomenon that emerged during the early years of the World Wide Web. Essentially, it’s a specific webpage that features rows of animated hamsters and other rodents dancing to a sped-up sample from the song “Whistle Stop” by Roger Miller. Deidre LaCarte, a Canadian art student, initially created the site in 1998 as a playful competition with her sister and a friend to generate web traffic. It unexpectedly exploded in popularity, becoming a renowned symbol of early internet culture and later, a profitable commercial enterprise.The purpose of Hampster Dance, at its launching, was purely amusement and an attempt to draw as many visitors as possible to the website. It was a quirky, engaging presentation that showcased the inherent potential of the internet for creativity and humor. On deeper reflection, it also demonstrated the unpredictability and virality of online content, hallmarks of the internet era. Over time, its popularity led to the creation of spin-off merchandise like toys, a single release, and even a brief animated television series, illustrating the commercial opportunities the world wide web can build from the most unlikely origins.

Examples

The term “Hampster Dance” refers to one of the earliest Internet memes, originating as a simple web page with rows of animated hamsters dancing in various ways to a sped-up sample from the song “Whistle Stop” by Roger Miller. This technologic phenomenon has permeated into several aspects of real-world media. Here are a few examples:1. Music Single: In 2000, a music single based on the “Hampster Dance” meme was released. Titled as “The Hampsterdance Song,” it was performed by the Cuban Boys, a British quartet. The song became unexpectedly popular, reaching number 4 in the UK Singles Chart at the end of the year.2. Commercial Usage: Due to its widespread popularity, the “Hampster Dance” song and animation were used in commercials by companies like EarthLink and Renault. Particularly, EarthLink used it in an ad campaign to demonstrate the speed of their internet service.3. Digital Art: The “Hampster Dance” also had an impact on digital art and animation. Its simple, repetitive, and engaging nature served as a source of inspiration for a number of digital artists and animators. Today, variations of these dancing hamsters or other animals can be found in many online platforms and digital art mediums.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q1: What is Hampster Dance?**A1: Hampster Dance is a catchy and popular internet meme dating back to 1998. It features animated gif images of dancing hamsters and other rodents set to a sped-up sample from the song “Whistle Stop” by Roger Miller. **Q2: Who created the Hampster Dance?**A2: The Hampster Dance was created by Deidre LaCarte as a competition between her and her sister to see who could generate the most web traffic.**Q3: Where can you view the original Hampster Dance?**A3: The original version of the Hampster Dance can be found on a web archive. The webpage has been preserved for nostalgia and reference, as the phenomenon is considered part of internet history.**Q4: Was there a song released based on the Hampster Dance?**A4: Yes, a song titled “The Hampsterdance Song” was released in 2000, becoming a surprise chart hit in several countries, including the United States, Australia, and the UK. **Q5: Is the name spelled “Hamster Dance” or “Hampster Dance”?**A5: The official and correct spelling of the name is “Hampster Dance”, even though the common spelling of the small rodent is “hamster”. The alternative spelling was allegedly a typo on the original webpage.**Q6: What is the cultural impact of the Hampster Dance meme?**A6: The Hampster Dance meme is one of the earliest examples of an internet meme that gained widespread popularity. It paved the way for countless other internet memes and viral content.**Q7: Are there different versions of the Hampster Dance?**A7: Yes, many versions of the Hampster Dance have been created over the years, featuring different characters and music, but all following the original concept of animated gifs dancing to catchy music.**Q8: Can I use the Hampster Dance for my own purposes?**A8: The Hampster Dance is copyrighted material. Therefore, any use of the design, music, or concept should be limited to personal enjoyment to avoid copyright infringement issues. For commercial or public use, you would need to seek permission from the copyright holders.

Related Tech Terms

  • Internet Meme
  • Animated GIF
  • Deidre Lacarte
  • GeoCities Website
  • Viral Phenomena

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