Dancing Matt Is Back, and Once Again, He's a Cure-All For Your Black Cynicism

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Dancing Matt Is Back, and Once Again, He's a Cure-All For Your Black Cynicism

By Dustin Rowles | Videos | June 22, 2012 | Comments ()


I'm sure you guys remember Dancing Matt (Harding), the international traveler who bounces around the world and dances with people of various countries and cultures often against the backdrop of historical monuments. Like most sequels, this one is bigger and more choreographed, but no less affecting. It's hard to understand why a cross-cultural goofy dancing is so affecting, but it is. I guess there's just something incredibly powerful about watching a guy connect with people in places like Syria, North Korea, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea the same he connects with people in Toronto or Philadelphia. There's also a certain power to the goofy dance: It's impossible to dance like that without experiencing joy, and to experience it with one guy in Bangladesh or 200 in Boise has got to be the only job in the world better than the one I have.

Warning: It'll sneak up on you. It may take a few seconds for the idea of a sequel to mow down your cynicism, but it will, and by the end, if the dancing seal doesn't work a number on you, the last shot will.

Bring Kleenex, you saps.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Christopher Martinez

    "...the last shot will.

    Bring Kleenex, you saps."

    *snort* yea right, whatever.

    ::5 min later::

    *sniff* well damn

  • casineraindc

    I love the mix of local dances mixed with his dancing. It is beautiful!!

  • cuca10

    This just made my dry and shriveled heart grow three sizes. Hey, and my hometown is there, twice!! Hola San José, Costa Rica!

  • ChainedVase

    The adorable little Thailand dancers were students at an Orphanage school in the rainforest in Kapong. Some of them are survivors of the Tsunami who lost their families; one little girl there is probably a foreigner, but since she was found wandering on a beach, too young to know her own name, there's no way to find her family. The school rents out bungalows to fund the school and trains the kids in useful trades in the tourist industry. It's a wonderful place, I was so touched to see it on this video! The More You Know!

  • tamatha_uhmelmahaye

    You weren't wrong, Dustin, that was lovely. Now it makes me want to watch the original again.

  • hass16

    Having and loving kids is pretty awesome isn't it, Dustin? My kids bring out all of these emotions in me and make them simple. I get why the shot gets you.

  • Drake

    OK, this makes my day a little better, which it badly needed since I have a distressing biopsy coming up this afternoon.

  • mike d

    I really thought you were over selling it, but as I see here teary eyed in my office, I can only agree with you. From the Syrian women, to the children balarina's, to the family at the end, that was just amazing.
    One question, can someone tell me how he got in to North Korea?! I thought that was exteremely illegal.

  • BWeaves


  • grinning dog

    toronto 2:54 - my kids are in the front middle wearing the orange hats, my wife and i are in the third row. it was such a blast being part of this event. and matt is a fantastic guy.

  • Tinkerville

    Christ, I chose the wrong day to wear mascara..

  • supermeg

    the power of dance. good god, i'm in tears.

  • pageslave

    goddamn it, Matt!

    he invades my barbwire surrounded compound that i keep my peep in, feeds the dobermans a big steak, charms the guards with witty repartee, wanders into the secret vault and drags me into the frilly breakfast nook i hide from everyone for waffles with chocolate chips and whip cream smiley faces.


    syria broke my heart.

    but houston and league city represent!

  • Jezzer

    Stop trying to make me feel feelings. >:(

  • Thank god the boss was out of the office. I just sobbed like a baby. And now I'm going to watch it again so I can do the same.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Most cool seeing people dance with an accent.

    Seriously, watch close & you can see some folks who's vocabulary of posture and movement doesn't quite match the choreography (and Mr. Matt's accent.) They're doing *something like* the moves, but with a localized emphasis. And they don't notice the difference.

    I caught it with the New Guinea folks, the guys on the steppe, and of course the hips in wherever it was in South America. Didn't catch the location. My attention was elsewhere.

  • Kati

    Theoughout the video, all I could think is that this guy is going to be an amazing father. If that's his family at the end, that's one of the luckiest kids on the planet.

  • Groundloop

    I'm one of the most cynical people I know, but that video...hey! Who's cutting onions?

  • Hiro_the_Eighth_Samurai

    I'm a truckload of cynic, and I'm experiencing the same problem where I'm at. Damn, who's cutting onions in here??

  • jeannebean

    These damn allergies! It's allergies, I tell you!

  • splinter

    come to phnom penh, matt!

  • duckandcover

    I got to 0:52 before the sniffles came on.

    I can't even.

  • Tereasa

    Go Broncos! (@ 2:38)

  • Guest

    Bastard keeps getting me--Sryian dancers and Seattle family are the kickers this time, of course. And the seal.

    Am I correct in thinking he used to dance alone in his earlier vids? The group dances are a nice evolution.

    I envy this guy so much.

  • space_oddity

    Yeah, he used to dance alone, but apparently got so many emails from people around the world who wanted to dance with him, he was happy to oblige.

    And ditto on the envy. I've been around the world once before, and air fares are hefty enough that I'll probably never do it again.

  • BWeaves

    sniff . . .

  • zeke_the_pig

    His videos always make my heart put on a tutu and frolic in a meadow. And I would never want to try resist that.

  • REL

    Today is Bruce Campbell's birthday! Pajiba, find a way to honor that man.

  • Todd Jaynes

    Dustin, you're a dick.

    It's 6:40am, my day is already amazing because of your asshattery.

  • marie

    That was cute. Also, it was really cool to see Tallinn among the locations.

  • Nadine

    The blurred out Syrian dancers are such a heart breaking moment but the rest of the video is so magically delicious that you focus on the positive, such as what wonderful dancers those Syrians are.

    The whole video just turned me into a great big heap of tears.

  • Same here. I'm weeping so hard I crashed into the wall trying to copy the dance moves.

  • Anna von Beav

    QMOG, the little ballerina girls.


  • Pants-are-a-must

    Oh fuck it. If anything deserved the "FEELS" prize, this would be it.

  • alwaysalurker

    The last shot snuck up on me...and made me tear up...in front of my kids. But I missed the song from the other ones. Minor point, and not one that ruined anything for me.

  • zeke_the_pig

    Agreed. That song kicks fluffy, benevolent arse.

  • NateMan

    Yeah, the last shot did it for me too. But what really hit home was the shot from Syria, where even for as something as heartwarming as this video, they had to blur out the dancers' faces. How sad.

  • mangrilla

    That was weird for me too especially since... North Koreans weren't blurred out, but Syria was. Perhaps it's my ignorance of international affairs, but that was surprising.

  • NateMan

    Okay, that's pretty charming.

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