Prancercise, described as “a springy, rhythmic way of moving forward similar to a horse's gait and ideally induced by elation” by its founder, has gone viral on the Internet. With several hilarious videos, Prancercise is an ode to the 1980s and bad decisions.
Prancercise’s founder, Joanna Rohrback, attempted to create an exercise craze surrounding oddly rhymthic walking routines in 1989, Time notes. While prancercising did not catch on in the 1980s, it appears that Rohrback was simply ahead of her time, and, with the advent of the Internet, prancercise has gained newfound attention.
Rohrback attempted to revive her “exercise revolution” with the publication of “Prancercise: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence” in December 2012, but it was not until she uploaded the training video to YouTube that Rohrback discovered the success she had been seeking for more than two decades.
Part of the appeal of Prancercise is the overly serious presentation of something that would be construed as ridiculous. Rohrback describes her book as more than just a Prancercise tutorial, letting readers know that she also “explores the mindset of innovative artists who changed the climate of the discipline they indulged in. ... I compare myself and my aerobics to them in this book.”
As the Week’s write-up points out, Rohrback looks like the last person anyone would take exercise advice from. In the video, Rohrback suggests that she “stop talking and do some walking,” and the series of instructional videos shows Rhohrback demonstrating the various Prancercise routines, include a higher-tempo routine complete with overly embellished movements. While there is no clothing guideline, ankle weights are recommended.
Currently, the Internet is infatuated with Prancercise, and Rohrback and is at the “observer stage” of the viral fad. While people react, watch and look on with a mix of curiosity and disbelief, the Prancercise video has accumulated more than 2 million views on YouTube. Once viewers have satisfied their curiosity, expect plenty of user-submitted Prancercise videos, much like “Gangnam Style” or the “Harlem Shake” fads that captivated the Internet and generated thousands of parodies.