In 2006, Matt Harding embarked on a 6 month trip through 39 countries to dance in front of famous landmarks. This was because after seeing his 2003 dancing video Stride Gum Sponsored Matt to do the trip again, but of course in more countries this time. However, in 2007 now quasi-famous Harding realized that his bad dancing was not that interesting and that his overflowing inbox proved that there were thousands of others that could dance just as badly as he could. That being the case, Stride sent him on another trip. The big difference on this trip was that Harding would invite the people from the cities that he visited to dance with him.
This viral video, that is one that has gained worldwide popularity, is an excellent example of how easy it can be to transcend cultural boundaries. From Canada, to the United States to the continent of Africa the people in his videos are not only dancing but they are happy. Dancing is one of the only forms of expression that seems to “transcend political boundaries that exist in nearly all human societies” . Harding realized that he could capture something that would be meaningful to a lot of people – a way for us to bound and forget about our differences for a moment. His video allows the people of the world to shed their anger towards one another and dance for the sake of dancing – let everything go and be silly for a few minutes of your life.
Not everyone has been impressed or moved by his video. In fact, there is a following claming that his videos were Photoshopped. In another video, Matt Harding responds to these vicious rumours by sarcastically claiming that, yes indeed, the videos are fake. I think the whole rumour thing is ridiculous. There will always be individuals and groups that will try and destroy something that is not trying to hurt anyone. That being said, I believe that there are far more people that know what is real and will try and make a difference because of Harding’s videos.
These videos are some of the simplest examples proving how globalized and interconnected we have become. Regardless of whether we agree or disagree on things, we do share distinct commonalities and we can bond over the simplest of emotions and expressions. I believe that through dancing, Harding has managed to bring every single person all over the world together. Happiness is contagious; can you watch the video without smiling?