Most internet sensations have the shelf life of a firefly.
But Matt Harding dances on.
The 1994 Staples graduate earned international acclaim the same time YouTube came of age. Abandoning what he thought would be his life work — designing video games — Matt decided to travel the world.
In 2003, he did an impromptu dance in Hanoi. A friend filmed him, and a tradition began.
By 2006 people around the planet were viewing his videos. He danced — “badly,” which was part of the charm — in Mongolia, Cambodia, Antarctica, Machu Picchu, Namibia, New York, Fiji and Iceland.
And everywhere in between.
Over 75 million folks watched him. His videos — showing him dancing on a crab-filled South Pacific Beach; in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan; in the slums of Mumbai — are goofy, gleeful, and oddly compelling.
Sometimes he dances alone. In the DMZ, 1 somber Korean soldier stood behind him. Usually, though — in the plazas of Buenos Aires, the villages of New Guinea, the plains of Africa — folks of all ages giddily join in.
And Matt dances on.
Last summer he danced in places most people hesitate even to walk: Haiti. Iraq. Afghanistan.
He was welcomed joyfully. “I keep learning, and re-learning, that people are friendly, everywhere I go,” Matt told KING-TV last week. He lives in Seattle now, and the local station caught up with him there.
In 2011, he heads to Cuba.
“I’m still dancing,” he said. “It’s become my job.
“This is what I do. And I can’t think of anything better to do.”