Dancing across globe

The Baltimore Sun

It's a twentysomething's fantasy: Travel around the world, dance a lot and get paid to do it.

Matt Harding of Seattle made that dream come true. And he's turning into an Internet star, thanks to a video he made of his recent trip that's become wildly popular on the Web.

Harding's 3 1/2 -minute video shows him dancing in dozens of countries. He dances at familiar sites, from China's Great Wall to the Machu Picchu ruins in Peru. He dances amid a crowd on a busy Tokyo street, beside bemused Buddhist monks in Laos, alone on a sand dune in Namibia. Altogether he danced and filmed his way through 39 countries during the first six months of the year.

As Harding, 29, is the first to admit, he's not a great dancer. But there's something so goofily endearing about his video, as he pumps his arms and legs and grins broadly, that it's become a huge hit since he posted it online two months ago.

Called "Dancing 2006," the video has been viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube, a fast-growing Web site where people can share their short videos.

Harding's dancing started as a lark a few years ago after he took off from his job as a video-game designer to travel.

"I've always done that dance, just flailing my limbs. I used to do it to annoy my co-workers, by hovering over their desks and dancing. Then I was traveling through Vietnam with a co-worker, and he said, 'You should do the stupid dance, and I'll film it.' So we did. And we just kept doing it."

To see Matt dance, go to youtube.com or wherethe hellismatt.com.

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