Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dancing Around the World



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This is something a little different than my usual post, as I could not resist sharing this video! (You can skip the commercial at the start after a few seconds.) Do you think the universal language of a smile, music and dancing could make the entire world a better place? For the few minutes of this video they do! After learning a few dance steps in each location at the beginning of the video, Matt begins to dance with participants from different countries, and you can not help but feel the joy everyone was experiencing.


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It all began in 2006 with the video above.  Matt, originally from Westport, Connecticut, had moved to Australia and enjoyed traveling around Southwest Asia.  To keep his family back in the US informed about where he was, he began a blog and showing videos, which he entitled "Where the H**l is Matt?" A friend jokingly told him he should dance on each video and he began doing just that.  Someone put it on YouTube and it had a million viewers before he knew it, and it has since gone of to be one of Youtube's most popular videos!  Soon after the original movie was made, Matt attracted sponsors and was paid to travel and make more what he called "dancing badly" videos.  At first, Matt would chose a local landmark of a spectacular piece of scenery to dance in front of -- if you watch the video above you'll see a place in Norway where I was amazed he'd even attempt to dance!  However,  he began to notice that when there wasn't anything of note to dance in front of and he chose a few children or locals to dance with him instead, his videos were even happier and more interesting.  He went on to make many more videos which you can watch on his web site on this link, including his out takes and commercials.  In this post he shows all the places in the world he has danced.  What an amazing life he is leading!

But in the current 2012 video Matt hopes that viewers will also contribute to one of the seven programs in different countries he danced with, such as The Haitian Relief Organization, an on the ground medical and emergency relief organization in Haiti, the Yaowawit School Kapong, an orphanage and school in Thailand which has a lodge that teaches hotel management and hospitality skills to the students, or the Axis Dance Company in Oakland, California a contemporary dance troupe that mixes performers with and without disabilities.  A complete list of the charities can be seen on this link.  I applaud his efforts, both in this novel way he supports himself and now his outreach towards helping others that are in need.



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This is an interview by a reporter in Rome, Italy (in English) that gives more info about what Matt is doing now and the process of making the videos.  There is also a good interview on this NY Times link.

Who would have thought that a few seconds of dancing would bring Matt fame and fortune and the opportunity to dance around the world? Matt has become sort of an ambassador of dance, and has helped bring a happy smile to many faces!

Do you like to dance?   Wouldn't you love to dance around the world?

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21 comments:

Sandy said...

Hi Pat,
I hadn't seen these videos. But I loved them! Especially the first one and the ending with I guess Matt's wife and baby! How delightful. Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Sandy

Pondside said...

That was lovely, Pat - and at the risk of venturing into hyperbole - it filled my heart, after a very difficult week. Matt's joy - they way he joins in the dancing with not a hint of disrespect or superiority - what an ambassador for his country he is. He just seems like a thoroughly nice young man!

Vee said...

Yes, I love to dance. No, I wouldn't love to around the world...too much a homebody. Now you I can see dancing around the world!☺

I remember seeing Matt some time ago and enjoying this video and various others. He's a hoot. (This is so odd since John was just sharing how a friend of his, three hundred pounds if an ounce, can dance the Russian Cossack dance like crazy. I'd love to see that!)

Vee said...

Oh I just had a thought...would love to see Matt on Dancing With the Stars. =D That would be a cool way to further promote his work.

The Gathering Place said...

Thanks for sharing the video. What a great way to promote humanity!

Houseelf said...

It is good that he is using his popularity to help others.

Carol said...

His dancing is infectious, makes me want to dance, too :) What an amazing young man. I really enjoyed the post!

Sarah said...

Pat, you find the most interesting topics. This is great! Hope you are enjoying a beautiful weekend......Sarah

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Absolutely it could make a difference. This is fantastic Pat.

Happy weekend.
Sam

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Matt has followed his heart... and such a big heart. =) blessings ~ tanna

Kris said...

Really great!!!
XO Kris

Riet said...

What a wonderful post Pat and thank for the links of the dancing man. I love to dance and when seeing this 2012 video I couln't sit still. I loved looking at all the places where he danced and every time I thought this is my favorite piece but they became all my favorites. I am going to see the rest of the video's of the other years too and read more about his dancing drive.
Have fun with the grand kids there is nothing better in the world.
Hugs from Riet

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I've seen that video before Pat - and it is really joyful. What a great idea he had to use his video to raise awareness and money for these organizations.

Arlenesfelt said...

Delightful post, Pat. Thank you!

Jojo said...

This is heartwarming. We need more Matts in the world.

diane b said...

I love his videos. I saw his 2008 one years ago and just thought what a great idea. It is good to see he is trying to make life better for some of those he has danced with. We stole his idea once. Bill filmed me waving an Aussie flag in front of icons we visited on one of our trips overseas.

Paula's Postings said...

Thanks for sharing that Pat what an uplifting post. Everyone is really happy and enjoying themselves.

La Petite Gallery said...

soon as the Hip heals __YES!
I'd love to Dance in Italy,
Moscow,Ireland after that I'd
be tired.. Great post.
yvonne

Amish Stories said...

Enjoyable videos and well done! Richard

Annesphamily said...

I LOVE dancing but at this stage in my life I like to remain closer to home! One of my cousins had a daughter that traveled with Up With People and they sang mostly. It would be great for a young person to strike out like that! I say this as I am resisting the urge to hold my son hostage so he can't leave on that jet plane for college! LOL!
Always a pleasure to know you and your lovely stories you share.

Kalevi Hightower said...

This guy, Matt, has DEFINITELY got the right idea! Dancing is definitely a language unto itself, and it really does connect everyone in the entire world. Learning the dances of different cultures in different countries is a great way to learn about their traditions and lifestyles. Plus, you get a few more awesome moves to use in the club, haha! It’s great that he got sponsored by people who loved his videos, but it’s even better that he’s now also doing it for good causes like charity and rescue donations. This really emphasizes how dance can bring together all the different people of the world!

Kalevi Hightower