Do you remember that viral video about the guy who danced his way around the world?
Roman first shared it with me about two or three years ago. I was enraptured by it, as were millions of others. I was inspired. Dangit, if this guy could do a silly dance around the world, certainly I could go to at least AUSTRALIA if nowhere else.
And so this video has served as encouragement for travel over the past few years. It’s been fun to go back and watch it again after a few trips, only saying “Hey! I’ve been there! and… there too!”
So, when I found out via his e-mail list that he would be dancing in Nashville — I nearly fell out of my chair. I wanted to run around the house shrieking with joy.
The meeting place? The Parthenon. (Nashville is the only city in the world with a life-sized replica of the Parthenon in Greece, and it’s in pretty good shape, and it sits in the middle of Centennial Park — definitely worth a visit in the daytime and/or nighttime.)
I arrived at the steps of the Parthenon – and quickly spotted ten to fifteen others who were there for the purpose of dancing with Matt. One guy with a fair amount of knowledge about Matt’s travels was informing some jazzercisers of the monumental event that was about to take place. I eavesdropped casually, as a work comrade arrived. I don’t get starstruck anymore, but I still experience that “first moment”: when you first lay eyes on someone in the flesh who you’ve only seen through media, and your mind takes a second to readjust to the reality of the person — their look, their aura — not the image that you’ve perceived through two-dimensional mediums.
But when I noticed my palms getting clammy and my excitement level was so high it impeded any rational conversation with my work comrade, I knew I was bound to be a bit starstruck.
When my friend began asking questions about Matt’s travels, I tried to play it cool, pretending like I had no idea where exactly he’d been — when in reality, I was shrieking ohmygoshI’mabouttodancewithMatt,THEmattwhoi’vewatchedonthatvideoahundredtimeswho’sbeen
And suddenly, there he was — dragging a cooler around the corner of the Parthenon, surveying the lay of the land. I experienced that “first moment”, followed by a “Wow, he actually came to Nashville? And I’m actually standing here?”
He gave us all a big Hello, and soon enough, we were all lined up on the Parthenon, dancing. He taught us how to do the “Matt” dance, and we did a few other “moves” as well. It was a LOT of fun, definitely a must for anyone who may happen to be in the same city as this guy. (He also controlled the crowd very well — if he wasn’t already an internet celebrity, a career as an AD would probably work out for him.)
Once we were done dancing “officially” for the video, Matt hung out to sign autographs, chat, and dance with anyone who was willing. He was genuinely interested in meeting everyone, learning their name, and answering their questions. I let the crowd die down a little before I made my move: my goal was to teach him Gunner’s mom’s little side-to-side dance, and then break into full-on Matt Dancing. It came off fairly well, and was a blast.
Cross that one off the bucket list! Dancing with Matt is something I’ve always wanted to do at some point, but I never thought he’d come to Nashville.
And, best of all? Gunner and I found out that he was going to New Orleans two days later — and Gunner got to dance with him, as well.
We’ll see if either city makes the final cut. Be sure to check it out if Matt comes to your city!