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The Hampster Dance is a Web page (initially a GeoCities page) that features multiple rows of animateddancing hamsters and other rodents. The hamsters are animated GIF files that are repeated dozens of times in a loop. They dance along to a sped-up version of “Whistle Stop”, a song by Roger Miller. Hampster Dance was created by a Canadian art student named Deidre LaCarte in 1998 and is considered one of the first Internet memes.
Hampster Dance was created by Deidre LaCarte in homage to her pet hamster, Hampton Hampster. The clip is a nine-second looped WAV file, which was actually taken from a sped-up version of Miller's "Whistle Stop", a song composed for the Walt Diseny cartoon "Robin Hood" in 1973.
The website went viral in 1999 after being spread through email and blogs.
A trance version of the Hampster Dance song was released in 2000, and became a hit in several countries, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In 2005, CNET crowned the Hampster Dance as the No.1 Internet fad.