A (Not So) Private Dancer

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008)

Every once in a while, a story in the New York Times makes me question my own self-proclaimed, “Pop Culture Specialist” status. Today’s article on dancing YouTube star Matt Harding, made me feel shame.

The title is not misleading. “Dancing” shows a guy dancing: a big, doughy-looking fellow in shorts and hiking boots performing an arm-swinging, knee-pumping step that could charitably be called goofy. It’s the kind of semi-ironic dance that boys do by themselves at junior high mixers when they’re too embarrassed to partner with actual girls.

The dancer is Matt Harding, the 31-year-old creator of the video, and with some New Agey-sounding music playing in the background, he turns up, grinning and bouncing, in 69 different locations, including India, Kuwait, Bhutan, Tonga, Timbuktu and the Nellis Airspace in Nevada, where he performs the dance in zero gravity. [NYTimes.com]

Sure, this guy’s good, but he’s no Gabe.