The Gratitude Dance 

The Gratitude Dance

Has there ever been a moment in your life where you feel as though this World that we live can be better? What can I do to make this world a better place? What will be my plan of action? Who will all be affected by my idea? In our pluralistic society, we all have an idea that can change the world around us, but where to begin? Getting the word out there would be anyone’s first start and a Social Movement doesn’t sound that bad. A social movement, according to Herbert Simons and Jean Jones in Persuasion in Society, said that a Social Movement is an uninstitutionalized collectivity that operates on a sustained basis to exert external influences in behalf of a cause.

The Gratitude Dance is a viral video on YouTube of a man named Matt Harding dancing in certain parts of the world. He does this dance to show gratitude for everything that he is grateful for. In every country and city he has danced in people join in to show there gratitude for things that they are grateful for. This video is to show appreciation for the life that you have, the love that we all share for everyone, and to dance in celebration for just showing you Gratitude. As I watched this video I could not help but to smile at the unity that the world has. No matter what you have, who you are, what is going on in your life you have to be happy and dance.  

What allows this video to become a social movement? The video starts out as one man dancing in in the busy streets of Mumbai, India. People walk by and some snicker at his little dance, some probably thought it to be a joke. For about two minutes of the video he is dancing by himself showing the world his gratitude and in the mist of the video from sections of the world people pour in alongside with him and they all dance. Everyone joins in to share the idea of dancing to show their gratitude. I feel as though this is a good example of a social movement for the fact that it started with one man. He went around the world showing everyone that he is dancing for something we all should show. It started as an idea which grew. And as he continues to dance more and more people seen and understood the whole concept for the reason why he does this. Everyone can be affected by showing gratitude and in this case it was through dance. Madrid, Spain is the first city you can see with this man dancing with people , then he continues to dance in cities. For example Antseranana, Madagascar with children from the village.  Locals from Brisbane, Australia. People continues to dance with him from Dublin, Ireland as well as Buenos Aires, Argentina, Chakachino, Zambia. And the countries and cities are endless.

In goals v.s tactics, Matt’s goal was surely met and that was to use the tactic of dance to promote his idea. There was no wrong doing to create this video. I will say that he pushed the cultural barriers in his dances. He taught dances to other villages and tribes that never seen a dance like that , and he learned from them as well. In the area of Media, The Gratitude Dance was posted on YouTube and gained 163,854 views and Where the Hell is Matt2012 video gained 9,253,183 veiws.

The type of movement this could be classified as could be Expressivist, which seeks to change individuals, believing that institutions are created by people and so they can be changed only by changes in people. (Simons and Jones,482) In this video people seen what Matt was doing, which was dancing for gratitude.  The idea grew on people and changed their idea of what gratitude means. They came together to express the same idea as Matt and made a movement for the whole world to join in, literally.

The Gratitude Dance was so effective the makers of this video came out with a better understanding of this dance. And even had a segment called “Where is Matt? 2012” Matt Harding , creator of the Gratitude Dance, continues to start the process over again in more cities and countries all the world. I think it is SO AMAZING for one man to inspire the world to come together and dance. It the reason behind the dance is to show Gratitude. This video promotes an action of an idea. An idea that is so easily forgotten in this world of war, poverty, heartache, and even death.  Matt was not trying to cure the world of AIDS or War but to bring the world closer and dance for Gratitude.

Cicelle Beemon


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