Posts Tagged ‘dancing’

In 2008, Matt Harding, one of the greatest goodwill ambassadors of all time, in my opinion, posted a video of him dancing – “dancing badly” in his words – with people all around the world. In 14 months, he danced with children and adults of every color and nationality, indigenous peoples, even a whale, (and occasionally alone) in 42 countries.

In the face of so much sadness in our world, the memory of Matt Harding somehow returned to me. I cannot watch this without tears running down my face, because of the sheer joy of so many people happily sharing a simple love of dancing. Here’s 2008’s dance. Please watch full screen or theater mode, for even those not dancing are great to watch.

In 2012, he posted another world tour, this time dancing across the U.S., Europe, and beyond, even on the USS Abraham Lincoln in the Pacific Ocean. But he’s also in Syria, Afghanistan, North Korea, China, Russia, Rwanda, Iraq – countries where you might not expect him to be. And it’s all the same – people dancing with such joy. It does make you wonder why we stumble so as a human race, when this is all people want – to be happy.

So please take a minute and put a smile on your face (happy tears permitted!), maybe even get up and dance.

If you want to learn more, visit Where the Hell Is Matt? (later changed to Where the Heck Is Matt?). Can we please have more goodwill ambassadors like Matt Harding?

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How often is it that you watch something on the web and you are moved to tears while feeling an inner kind of joy? Not that often in my book, but every now and then – something really hits the mark. This one did it for me.

Go take a look at Where the Hell Is Matt? and click on Dancing 2008. And then watch his Dancing Outtakes, and whatever else strikes your fancy. This guy is joining the world through dancing – he’s not going to win any dance awards – that won’t be why you check it out. You’ll be going to watch a young guy wearing a joyous smile with an energy and a love for peoples of the world who wants to share it, AND get people dancing with him. It just blows me away, and so far, everyone I’ve sent it to.

Oporto-PortugalIn his About Matt section, (his FAQ’s are pretty funny, BTW), one of the things mentioned is that Matt believes that Americans should travel abroad more. That really struck a chord with me, and I truly agree. I find that Americans as a nation are rather insular, but to travel outside of the U.S. borders is truly eye opening. The first time I left this country was to visit my cousin Norman in Portugal – I was 23 years old and had never been on a plane, leave alone in a country where I couldn’t understand one word anyone said.

Perhaps this visit should be for another posting, but let me say that the vast difference in cultures, landscapes, language, food, architecture, etc. gave me memories I’ll never forget. And yet, there was nary a soul who didn’t go out of his or her way to be kind to me, a total stranger. I think many people’s world views could change just in knowing that, despite the differences between us, there are amazing common bonds. Matt is sharing one – dancing. It really has touched me. Go look – Matt is one cool guy.

p.s. I apologize that this photo is not mine – mine are in slide format and I’ve never taken the time to learn how the thing-y that came with my scanner converts them to images I can use – but this one, taken in Oporto, (where I also visited with my cousin), is a decent stand-in for the loveliness and simplicity found in the older areas of Portugal.

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