The officers throw down the gauntlet to other police around the world.Can you guess what’s trending across social media and even some news headlines worldwide? Here’s a hint… it’s dance related and it’s called the Running-man challenge. And much like other viral video trends we’ve seen before, such as the Ice bucket challenge and dance crazes like the Whip/Nae-Nae and the Harlem Shake, it’s sweeping the World Wide Web and essentially the entire planet!

Said to have been started by two teens, Kevin Vincent and Jeremiah Hall, the dance exploded in popularity when two University of Maryland basketball players, Jaylen Brantley and Jared Nickens garnered major attention for their take on the dance. There are those including the publication The Fader, who insist that the dance actually originated from New Jersey’s club culture. However, regardless of who officially started it, one thing that can’t be disputed is that everywhere you look it seems like everyone is doing it! From your average Joe’s to professional sports organizations like the NFL, NBA and even entire police and fire departments. In only its first few weeks of being posted, countless videos of various groups joining the dance challenge were being posted from all corners of the globe. In case you lost internet access over the past few weeks and are in the dark as to what this is all about, the challenge is simple: Just do a modern variation of the running man dance to the ’90s hit song “My Boo” by Ghost Town DJ’s, film it, and post it with the hashtag “running man challenge,” then watch as it spreads from group to group and city to city like wildfire.

So You Think You Can Dance all star Twitch joins Brantley, Nickens and the creators of the Running-man challenge on The Ellen show.

The videos are being called a social media phenomenon – embraced by professional athletes including members of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Heat and Denver Broncos. Check out these athletes as they take on the challenge!

Some of the professional athletes showing off their Running-man skills.
Instagram video: Superbowl MVP Von Miller smashes the challenge with his Dancing With the Stars partner Whitney Carson.

This challenge has become so big that not only are local law enforcement departments in on the action, but police departments as far away as New Zealand have also taken part in this latest challenge sweeping social media. A video featuring nearly a dozen New Zealand officers dancing to the theme song in front of a police car got more than 5 million views in just its first few days. The lead officer even pays homage to the 90’s with some smooth  flashback moves, including the original running-man from that era. with A post on the New Zealand Police Recruitment account read, “We catch people on the run every day, this was a new #runningmanchallenge for our team.”
This hilarious clip featuring Police and Fire Departments from all over the world uniting to put their local spin on the Running-man craze. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face. A must see video!

New Zealand police ignited an international dance-off between law enforcement officers across the globe after their response to a “running man” dance challenge went viral. The New Zealand officers called out police forces from New York to Los Angeles, and from Australia to the UK to join the movement. The challenge was eagerly accepted by the NYPD, who responded with a post on their Facebook page that read: “#RunningManChallenge accepted, NZ Police Recruitment!”, along with their own video showing officers dancing alongside local students by the Brooklyn Bridge. With Empire state flair the boys in blue ended their performance with a bold “mic drop” – with a police radio. The squad then threw down a gauntlet at the New York City Fire Department, Boston Police Department and Scotland Police to get their groove on and bust a move in response. If you watch each squad’s clip carefully, you’ll notice that each one symbolically throws down a different object, like a rapper throws down their microphone after killing it on stage, or a football player spikes the ball after a winning play. From a tossed police radio, to handcuffs, a baton and more, it’s amusing to see the variety of objects they choose for their “mic drop”, showing that they’ve given all they have and left it all on the stage, as they throw down the challenge to the next opponents.


Australian Federal Police accept Running-man challenge. Instead of a mic drop, notice the baton throw!

Week after week a new emergency response team, sports organization or other high profile group from another city in a different country continues to join in on the action. Some of the newest participants like Peru’s military police do such a different twist on the challenge that it looks like an entirely different dance style. While the Philippines Elite Police force and their airport workers dancing in the midst of the tarmac as planes take off aren’t yet featured in the primary compilation.
The first wave of challengers: New Zealand officers vs. NYPD. Who do you think won the battle?

Not everyone has jumped on the Running-man challenge bandwagon. In fact, there are some who insist that this is merely a disappointing attempt by misguided Millennials at the real Running-man which dates back to the 1990’s, and was popularized by musicians like MC Hammer, Bobby Brown and others of that era. Some have started running-man preservation movements (yes, seriously), along with tutorial videos demonstrating the original dance move and the importance of acknowledging its true originators from decades past.

Running-man preservationist vents his frustration and shakes his head at this generations misinformed take on the running-man.
Then demonstrates the real deal!

Stay tuned for more as this ongoing debate continues to heat up, new participants join the action and new challenge videos go viral!