In 2003, a fellow traveler filmed Matt Harding dancing – poorly, he admits – in front of a landmark on his travels in Vietnam. As they say, the rest is history. His unique dancing at sites around the world turned Matt into an internet sensation known as Dancing Matt. Most recently, it allowed him to team up with United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) to dance around the world. (WorldStrides is a member of USTOA, which affords our customers up to $1 million dollars in financial backing.)
Through USTOA, Matt and his team approached WorldStrides to plan a dance in Korea with travelers on a WorldStrides Capstone program. In May, a group from Montclair State University School of Business met up with Matt and his team at the Namdaemun Gate in Seoul, where they danced for the crowd and the camera. The gate, reopened after fire in May 2013, is the number one national treasure in South Korea. The newly-released video features a portion of the group’s dance there, as well as Matt’s dances with other tour groups in destinations around the world.
“In every destination I visit, I’m always teaching people how to do my signature dance move but I always ask if anyone has a special move or dance for the group to try. [In Korea,] someone said let’s do the “Harlem Shake,” so we did and it was a blast,” Matt reported back. “I have to admit…and you’ll see in the video, I wasn’t very good at it but the WorldStrides group nailed it!”
Watch Matt and the students practice here:
Matt and USTOA share a passion for travel with WorldStrides. See excerpts below from Matt and his team regarding why they choose to dance at the Namdaemun Gate in Korea.
“Korea is now a modernized vibrant nation that still maintains its traditional culture. Often referred to as the ‘Land of the Morning Calm,’ Korea has a population of almost 50 million people and it is located at a major crossroads of Northeast Asia.
As early as the 1960s, the Korean economy has relentlessly shown signs of exponential growth. Today, Korea is among the top exporters of culture around the world (just look up PSY and his ‘Gangnam Style’ for a quick reference)…With a unique culture and history that is over 5,000 years old, Korea offers the visitor UNESCO natural and cultural heritage sites, distinctive festivals all year round, rich and flavorful cuisine, and all the beauty and attractions of world class cities (sic) like Seoul and Busan.”