Posted in biology, communication and networking

The phenomenon of “Dancing Matt”

Scooped by my other blog Complex Interplay:

I honestly had never heard of this guy until a few months ago (apparently he’s been a viral Internet celebrity for almost two years now), but watching this interview of Matt made some really good points. Having been trained as an anthropologist, I find the connection of people from completely different cultures through the Internet and through (silly) dance fascinating and wonderful. There are many reasons for this, such as:

1. There are definitely downsides to globalization, but when I see things like this it reminds me that there are some good parts to it too. People are connected in very different ways than they used to be, and community is no longer determined exclusively by geography. This sort of thing is only possible because of modern technology.

2. The fact that dance is being used so successfully to bring everyone out to these events and to have become so popular is great, and it shows just how universal dancing really is.

3. There is also the point that the dance is silly, and lots of people (granted mostly young adults and kids) are willing to go on film and be broadcast all over the world dancing and being silly and playing. Play is something that has been totally disregarded as important in the last 60 years in my humble opinion (or IMHO for those of you who knew about this guy before now), when in fact play and creativity have been shown to be so important for brain development and just coming up with new solutions to problems. It is time that “play” returned to everyone’s positive vernacular, and just as everyone knows they need to brush their teeth and exercise, they also need to play. And watching Dancing Matt doesn’t count, but dancing like Dancing Matt does. J

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Author:

Beth Kelley is a writer and researcher with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.