Stride Sponsored This Smile

This video made me smile today.

According to the website www.wherethehellismatt.com

The dancer in the video, Matt Harding, is a 31-year-old deadbeat from Connecticut who used to think that all he ever wanted to do in life was make and play videogames. Matt achieved this goal pretty early and enjoyed it for a while, but eventually realized there might be other stuff he was missing out on. In February of 2003, he quit his job in Brisbane, Australia and used the money he’d saved to wander around Asia until it ran out. He made this site so he could keep his family and friends updated about where he is.

A few months into his trip, a travel buddy gave Matt an idea. They were standing around taking pictures in Hanoi, and his friend said “Hey, why don’t you stand over there and do that dance. I’ll record it.” He was referring to a particular dance Matt does. It’s actually the only dance Matt does. He does it badly. Anyway, this turned out to be a very good idea.

A couple years later, someone found the video online and passed it to someone else, who passed it to someone else, and so on. Now Matt is quasi-famous as “That guy who dances on the internet. No, not that guy. The other one. No, not him either. I’ll send you the link. It’s funny.”

The response to the first video brought Matt to the attention of the nice people at STRIDE GUM. They asked Matt if he’d be interested in taking another trip around the world to make a new video. Matt asked if they’d be paying for it. They said yes. Matt thought this sounded like another very good idea.

In 2006, Matt took a 6 month trip through 39 countries on all 7 continents. In that time, he danced a great deal.

The second video made Matt even more quasi-famous. In fact, for a brief period in July, he was semi-famous.

Things settled down again, and then in 2007 Matt went back to Stride with another idea. He realized his bad dancing wasn’t actually all that interesting, and that other people were much better at being bad at it. He showed them his inbox, which, as a result of his semi-famousness, was overflowing with emails from all over the planet. He told them he wanted to travel around the world one more time and invite the people who’d written him to come out and dance too.

The Stride people thought that sounded like yet another very good idea, so they let him do it. And he did. And now it’s done. And he hopes you like it.

Matt lives in Seattle, Washington with his girlfriend, Melissa, and dog, Sydney. He hasn’t had a real job since Stride called him up. Matt doesn’t mind working, but he doesn’t much care for having to show up at the same place every day.

Matt is not rich. Matt also doesn’t have some magical secret for traveling cheaply. He does it pretty much the same way everybody else does.

Matt thinks Americans need to travel abroad more.

Check out “Matt’s Place” on the Stride Website for more:

http://www.stridegum.com/#/mattsplace/

This is a very cool sponsorship.  I couldn’t help smiling.

Yeah.  This confirms it.  I need a vacation.

Matt?  Stride?? Take me with you!!!

~Calliope

~ by Calliope on August 17, 2008.

3 Responses to “Stride Sponsored This Smile”

  1. Very cool. He really made an interesting statement about the universal joy in dancing. you don’t have to be great, just enjoy it.
    mom

  2. Love it! I saw this great video on SF Iam where the reporter goes to Seattle to try and track down Internet and You Tube sensation Matt Harding of Where the Hell is Matt.com? Fame:

    http://www.sanfranciscoiam.com/videos/cb1dfa714335

    Find out the origins of Matt Harding’s fancy dance that has become a global InterWeb craze. Man, this guy has been fancy dancing all around the world for 5 years now, spreading happiness!

    Also, SF Iam has a lot of other great videos you should check out.

  3. Dear Calliope:

    Matt Harding may not be a household name, but his dancing is world famous. Last year Time named his “Where the Hell is Matt?” video the year’s #1 viral video–and for good reason. By clumsily dancing his way from India to France to Hawaii to Micronesia to Bolivia and Tanzania and more, he showed the world that one awful dance could show us all what a really small world we really live in. Everyone–men, women, and children–joined him in his spirited, joyful dance.

    Matt’s first book Where the Hell is Matt? ($14.95 hardcover, Skyhorse Publishing) is the story of Matt, his travels, and his videos. Told with humor and illustrated with over 200 of Matt’s own photographs, it is the perfect summer read for anyone who loves Matt’s video and wanted to hear from Matt how his journey started, whom he met on the way, and what he saw along the way.

    Where the Hell is Matt? is available from booksellers everywhere–on line and in stores. Please let us know if you need or want any further information about Matt or his book.

    Sincerely,
    Heather Chapman, Publicity Assistant
    Skyhorse Publishing
    212-643-6816

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