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“Wanna Dance?” is a YouTube video series featuring various characters and people grooving to background music from Mass Effect 2 in loop. While the choreography varies slightly from video to video, hip swinging and up-and-down movement of arms seen in the original video have become closely associated with this series.
On June 29th, 2011, YouTuber Gzero91 posted a video asking other Garry’s Mod users to send him clips of Valve character models dancing for “Project Flail: Dance.” The final collaboration of these submissions (shown left) was uploaded to Gzero91’s YouTube channel on July 13th, 2011. Four days after the call for clips, YouTuber and Garry’s Mod player FineLeatherJackets uploaded his submission titled “Wanna Dance?” (shown right) featuring Team Fortress 2 character Red Heavy:
Both the title of the series “Wanna Dance?” and the background music come from Afterlife Club, a nightclub on the mercenary-controlled space station Omega in Mass Effect 2. The title specifically comes from a specific cinematic sequence:
Since YouTuber FineLeatherJackets had a previously well-known reputation within YouTube’s Garry’s Mod community, the video quickly developed a large series of response videos. The first follow-up video was uploaded the next day by YouTuber JackerPacker561, featuring TF2 character Blue Spy. The video and its responses were discussed on several gaming sites including EdgeGamers and Halolz. As of February 2012, there are 130 response videos to FineLeatherJackets’ original upload.
The subjects of dancing videos range from other Team Fortress 2 characters to fans of the game parodying the dance, as well as several derivatives involving clips from 60’s Spiderman.
Derivative: Wanna X?
While most derivatives place the music over other video footage, some keep the dancing Heavy but swap out the music. The title of the video usually indicates the song that is used as background music. The first instance of this was Wazgul’s “Wanna Shuffle?”, uploaded on September 7th, 2011:
Since he phrase “Wanna Dance?” is very general, it is hard to determine search traffic for the video. A small peak for “dancing heavy” appeared in July 2011 when the video was released.