What is the Jerusalema challenge, how did the challenge start and how can I take part?

What is the Jerusalema challenge, how did the challenge start and how can I take part?

UNLESS YOU'VE been living under a rock, you've probably seen-- or at least heard of-- a Jerusalema challenge by now.

This doesn't just apply to younger people on TikTok, either: the Jerusalema challenge has become about as mainstream as you can possibly get, as entire police forces from different countries around the world have gotten involved.

But what exactly is the Jerusalema challenge, how did the Jerusalema Challenge start and how can I take part?

What is the Jerusalema Challenge?

Simply put, the Jerusalema challenge is a dance.

Those taking up the challenge perform a dance reel to the song Jerusalema, a gospel-influenced house song by South African producer  Master KG and performed by singer-songwriter Nomcebo.

They then upload a video of their dance to social media and tag their friends, family or co-workers to challenge them to do the dance next.

What language is the Jerusalema song in?

While the song is in the Zulu language, it has become popular across the globe-- music is the universal language, after all.

It has reached the number one spot in the charts in multiple European countries including Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland, and sat comfortably in the top 10 of countless other countries.

Who started the Jerusalema Challenge?

The dance trend began in February of last year, when Fenómenos do Semba, a group in Angola, south-west Africa, recorded themselves dancing to the song while eating and without dropping their plates.

The impressive dance started going viral almost immediately, before exploding into the mainstream of the  western world in early 2021-- but most people still copy the moves seen in Fenómenos do Semba's original video.

What other countries have done the Jerusalema Challenge?

At this stage, a better question might be which countries have not done the Jerusalema Challenge.

Famous Jerusalema efforts have come from all over the world, starting on the continent of Africa and spreading to Vietnam, Switzerland, Ireland, Austria, Morocco-- even Israel's Jerusalem itself.

What is the most famous Jerusalema challenge?

Maybe we're being biased here-- but apart from the original, we would say the most famous Jerusalema challenge is the one from the Irish police force, the Gardaí.

The Garda Jerusalema Challenge exploded into viral status almost immediately upon being uploaded to social media, and appeared on websites, newspapers and even the national news for days afterwards.

The famous Garda Jerusalema attempt was even reported in international outlets outside of the Republic.

The Swiss Police, who had initially challenged the Gardaí to try and beat their Jerusalema dance, even admitted defeat-- later hanging an Irish tricolour out the window of the police building

Who else in Ireland has tried the Jerusalema Challenge?

The Garda attempt at the Jerusalema dance inspired countless other individuals, businesses, and communities in Ireland into having a go at the challenge.

The very next day after Gardaí uploaded their video, staff at a nursing home in Ireland also danced their way through the Jerusalema Challenge, and urged others to get involved.

Ireland's front line workers appeared on the national Late Late Show with a TV performance of the viral dance routine.

And, most recently, the Dingle Coast Guard blew audiences away with their brilliant attempt at the Jerusalema Challenge.

How do I take part in the Jerusalema Challenge?

Here's how to take part in the Jerusalema Challenge:

Firstly, find someone to perform the dance reel with you-- preferably your family or someone in your 'bubble' to stick with Covid-19 regulations.

Then, learn the steps and record yourselves performing the dance. It really is that simple-- there's even a tutorial for the steps on Youtube, which you can find here.

While the Jerusalema Challenge is really just as simple as recording yourself dancing, don't be afraid to get creative with it (within the Covid rules in your area, of course)-- that's what makes all the best dances so famous.

The Gardaí showcased some of Ireland's most famous scenery, the original Fenómenos do Semba held on to their dinner plates the whole time-- have fun with it.

Finally, upload your Jerusalema dance video to social media, using the tag #JerusalemaChallenge and tag your friends or family; dare them to take up the challenge next!

**Originally Published on: Feb 11, 2021 by Rachael O'Connor