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"Dancing Man" quinn.anya/flickr

"Dancing Man" quinn.anya/flickr

It’s a different kind of day here in The Curmudgeon Offices, as, for a change, we are reporting on a happy story.  That’s instead of my normal negativity and cynical observations and thinly veiled sexual references.  Today, we are celebrating The Dancing Man.  First we walked the walk, then talked the talk, and now we are dancing the dance.  And it is a delightful, goofy dance.

Do you know about The Dancing Man?  It’s a guy named Matt Harding, who, in his own words, “used to think that all he ever wanted to do in life was make and play video games.”  Growing bored with that, he quit his job and went to Asia to wander around until his carefully saved funds wore out.  After a few months in Asia, his travel buddy asked him to do that silly dance that he often did while the friend taped it.  They made a little video of it and posted it on youtube.

The video sat on youtube for a couple of years until someone stumbled on it, thought it was funny and passed it around.  Those people passed it around to more people who passed it around until someone at Stride gum saw it and went to Matt with a proposition.  “Why don’t you let us sponsor your next trip as you dance around the world?”  No reason, no reason at all, and now the gum people have paid for a couple of his trips where he tapes himself doing the goofy dance along with the locals.

It’s odd.  It’s such a simple thing that seems to say so much about culture, friendship (or not), and brotherhood among nations that it takes on both a joyous and bittersweet feeling.  There is just something about seeing this guy dancing his spastic dance at breathtaking locations around the world with the locals joining in with their imitations of the goofy Matt dance, that we have to sit back and ask ourselves, “how much do we really know about our world neighbors?.  It will make you smile, laugh, and feel a little unexplainable sadness.

Take a look at it.  It is short and captivating.  I called a full-staff meeting this morning and showed everyone the video, and then I did the dance for them.  They loved it of course, to see the big boss being so silly, but they wanted to do the dance too.  And they did.  Everyone has been smiling around here all day, and I think we may have gotten more accomplished than ever before.  People spasmodically dancing up and down the halls, from office to office, and even in the meeting with the Chamber of Commerce.  Everyone was dancing.  They are dancing still.

For more information on where the hell is Matt, visit his website here.

My writer friend Denny Lyon has published a great article about this sort of thing.  There’s lots of great videos, and you simply have to check the “‘Freeze” at Grand Central, where hundreds of people freeze simultaneously for 3 minutes, and especially the big choreographed dance at Liverpool station with a cast of hundreds.  Fabulous!  Check it out here!

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