A Word With . . .
The Guy Who Danced Around the Globe
So, where the hell is Matt? We found him in Seattle, but before that, Matt Harding, 30, was everywhere. In 2003, the video-game maker performed a silly free-form dance in more than a dozen countries, which he filmed and then posted on his Web site at http:/
Q. Describe your travel background.
A. Travel to me wasn't something on my radar as a thing you could do. Growing up, I'd been to Europe and around the country, but I'd never traveled outside of my comfort zone before. Then, when I was 23, I moved to Australia for a job. . . . After a couple of years of living in Australia and saving money, I went back home to the States. I spent all of my savings on a six-month trip in 2003. I went to 17 countries.
How much did you spend on that trip?
Enough to buy a decent car.
When -- and why -- did you start dancing in each country?
A couple of months into the trip, I started making the dancing video . . . it just happened. A friend of mine I was traveling with in Vietnam suggested that, "Hey, you should go do that stupid dance you do and I'll film it." I shot the first clip in Hanoi.
How would you describe the dance?
It's what my body does when I start flinging limbs around. It's not something that's choreographed, and it doesn't have a name. It's sort of the dance a 3-year-old kid does, where you start jumping up and down and swinging your arms. It's just that I kept doing it into my 20s.
How many countries had you danced in by the end of the first trip?
I probably danced in 15 countries total, maybe 17, in the first video.
How did the gum company end up financing your second tour?