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Bernie Dance (also known as “Moving Like Bernie”) is a dance style performed by leaning one’s head back and wobbling with loosely held arms. The movements resemble the character Bernie Lomax’s walk from the 1993 comedy film Weekend at Bernies II.
On March 4th, 2009, the bernietv1 YouTube channel uploaded a music video for the song “Weekend At Bernie’s Dance” by the rap artist Tre-Doh. In the video, Tre-Doh falls asleep while watching the 1993 comedy film Weekend at Bernie’s II and dreams about performing the Bernie dance.
Weekend at Bernie’s II
On July 9th, 1993, the comedy film Weekend at Bernie’s II was released, which starred Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman. In the film, a deceased man is animated with voodoo magic to walk toward hidden treasure when music is played. The movie was the sequel to the 1989 comedy Weekend at Bernie’s, in which two insurance corporation employees attempt to convince people that their deceased boss Bernie Lomax is still alive.
On July 14th, 2009, YouTuber LHOTDOGSPT uploaded a music video titled “Moving like Berney [sic]," (shown below) featuring a montage of people performing the dance to the song with the same name by the rap artist ISA.
On October 27th, 2010, a reupload of the video was posted on the /r/WTF subreddit in a post titled “I’m convinced black people make shit like this up to troll white people”, which accumulated 762 up votes prior to being archived. The following day, the video was posted on the viral content site BuzzFeed, the Internet humor blog Blame it on the Voices and the entertainment blog Best Week Ever. Within three years, the original upload received over 2,200,000 views and the reupload accumulated over 9,700,000 views. On November 10th, an Urban Dictionary definition for “Move it Like Bernie” was submitted by user Sleepy Dumb, who described it as a “hyphy-esque dance craze.”
On November 22nd, the song “Moving Like Bernie” was released for sale on the Apple iTunes music store. On November 27th, YouTuber Sparklesl2008 uploaded a video titled “4 yr old super star moving like berney [sic]” (shown below, left), which featured a young boy performing the Bernie Dance. Within two years the video received over 3,400,000 views. On July 9th, 2011, a Bernie Dance flash mob took place at Bardstown Road in Louisville, KY, where participants danced by the side of a road for three minutes (shown below, right).
Several YouTubers uploaded videos of people performing the dance, most of which used the track “Moving Like Bernie” by ISA as background music.