By now, you’ve probably already seen Dancing, Matt Harding’s video. After all, when I checked it out, the YouTube view count was over 4,500,000. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. if you have, watch it again.
The New York Times has an article about Harding. To sum up the article, Harding first made a dancing video in 2003. It was him in various countries, just dancing. Stride Gum decided to sponsor him for a second video, and Harding asked them to sponsor a third one that would feature him dancing with other people. But it’s not a commercial. Stride gave him money to travel. That’s pretty much it.
So why have over 4 million people watched this? That’s more people than all the people who live in Ireland.
I’m certainly not going to speak for millions of people. Here’s why I watched the entire thing and felt the need to blog about it. It made me smile. It was a guy, just having fun. Yes, this one was sponsored, but the genesis of “Dancing,” the reason he asked a company to sponsor another trip was that he just likes to travel … and dance. He doesn’t seem to care that he’s not the world’s best dancer. He’s just happy being himself. And sharing himself with … the world. Both during his travels and now on the Internet. And people enjoyed dancing with him. Especially kids.
My favorite parts of the video are Harding with small groups of kids, usually in some African country. Sure, the Bollywood bit and the zero-G bit are pretty cool, but it’s when he’s with the kids that the simple joy of what he’s doing comes through. And I smile. I hope you do, too.