School’s out Friday

This the the 2012 version of ‘Where the hell is Matt?‘. This time, he has varied the dance moves and tried to be in keeping with more traditional dances from the countries he visits. David Pogue interviewed Matt this week; if you’re interested in the background details about the creation of the video, take a read. Matt’s also released the outtakes video, and I think I prefer it- there’s something really touching about people from all differing nationalities joined together in the spirit of doing something fun.

It feels a bit to me like ‘Where the hell is Jenny’ at the moment. I’ve been on the move for the last few weeks with conferences and a family holiday. I’m very happy to report that tonight I landed back in my home town of Melbourne and am very happy to be writing this post from the warmth of my bed! Travelling is exciting, but the old adage, ‘There’s no place like home’, starts to ring true when you’ve been away for awhile.

There’s no rest for the wicked though (cliches flying thick and fast tonight!). Next Thursday night is TEDxMelbourne: Education Leadership, and I’m one of three speakers presenting there. For the next six days, that’s my focus. I’ll be fine tuning my talk and hoping I can deliver it with passion. I’m very honoured to have been asked to speak and want to do the event justice. I’ll certainly be sharing my thoughts on the process here, so keep an eye out for a post or two over the next week.

Enjoy the weekend everyone. Let’s hope the sun shines for us. 🙂


School’s out Friday

Regular readers will have noticed that last week marked the first time I hadn’t posted School’s out Friday. And why not? I was out on the streets of Shanghai with Jabiz Raisdana and Brian Lockwood, soaking up all that life had to offer.

This week’s School’s out Friday highlights someone who soaks up all life has to offer. Matt Harding says this about himself on his website;

Matt 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.

I’m with Matt. If someone was going to pay me to fly around the world and record myself dancing in major cities and famous locations I think I’d take up the offer. The video above is Matt’s latest effort and involves others dancing with him, his earlier vids just involved him. I love the spirited sense of community that shines through this – people are people and dancing, laughter and good fun cross cultural boundaries.

Check out Garr Reynold’s post about Matt. That’s where I discovered him. Thirty million + people found him before me on YouTube. As the kid from Clarence Fisher’s class said; “You don’t have to be a rich old guy from New York to have a voice anymore”.

Hope you have a great weekend. I intend to!