Most of our readers are fond of travel and life in other countries and cultures, so I thought I’d present what many of you may have already seen, Matt Harding making his way around the world, dancing everywhere he went. What started as a way to tie his various trips together ended up, after one of his friends posted it on the net, going viral. This is his most recent video and after the jump, I’ll show his first and second videos along with a short and then a long talk he gave on how it started and developed. Enjoy!
Matt Harding is a computer programmer specializing in video gaming. After moving from the United States to Australia in order to work on a gaming project, he caught the travel bug and after saving up his money, went on his first multinational trip. Since he was a kid, he had always done this goofy dance and even at work, would sometimes do it to get someone’s attention in a playful way. Rather than using a prop to connect the different locales he visited as some do, his traveling companion in Vietnam suggested recording him doing his dance wherever he went, as a way to tie them together. Once he returned, he put it together on a clip and sent it to his friends, one who put it on a website that catered to techies in 2005. It eventually was passed around from site to site (this was in the distant days before YouTube) and its popularity increased. Here is his original video.
The second version was put together in 2006 and this time he accepted sponsorship of a gum brand called Stride, which allowed him to see more countries and stretch his horizons. He still traveled on a tight budget but was able to see more of the world. I think this is the best of the three.
The most recent video was the one I originally posted, which used a song called “Praan” composed by Garry Schyman and sung by Palbasha Siddique, with lyrics adapted from the poem Stream of Life, a part of the Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore and again, sponsored by Stride gum.
Of course, there had to be outtakes and here they are.
So how did he get all these people to dance with him? Here is a short six minute talk he gave in Seattle that explains the process.
If you are interested in learning more about Matt and how all this came about, here is a lecture (in three parts) he gave at Champlain College in Vermont about the course his life took, from programmer to world traveler and internet sensation. Each video is about 25 minutes in length.
So… how many of these countries have you visited? Recognize any of the locales? Seen anything that would inspire you to visit? I was personally taken by that boulder between two cliffs at Kjeragbolten in Norway, and the salt flats of Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia.