Behind the Scenes With Where the Hell Is Matt?

In honor of the new dancing-around-the-world video by Matt Harding (Where The Hell is Matt?), I’m releasing some never-before-seen photos of Matt at work. I know, because I took them!

I got to spend 22 hours aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of California last August, part of a blogger group that included Matt Harding, Jeremiah Owyang, Susan Etlinger, Calvin Lee, Shira Lazar, and other digital luminaries.

The highlight of the trip was watching Matt invent a dance.

First he had the officers teach him the signals they use to keep pilots from crashing their F-18s on the flight deck. After choreographing a dance based on those signals, he taught the number to the initially skeptical and later jubilant sailors. He didn’t have much time because we were scheduled to fly off the ship on a cargo plane via catapult that morning, but he rehearsed it and filmed it in about 30 minutes, start to finish.

You can see a snippet of the result in his latest video embedded below, at minute 3:05:

Matt hasn’t made a video since 2008, and this one is a little different from his others. Instead of just going around the world teaching people his goofy dance, this time he went to learn dances from people around the world, and to dance with them.

He went to some pretty hot spots, like North Korea, the Gaza Strip, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Rwanda, and Syria (where the faces of the dancers are blurred to protect them).

In his wordless videos he spreads the joy of dance, the commonality of being human, and the power of travel. I dare you to watch without smiling!

Here are some charitable organizations that helped Matt make his 2012 video, and I know he’d been happy if you’d check them out.

Fun Fact: All the personnel on the flight deck wear color-coded jerseys. Here’s a cheat sheet that tells you what each color means.