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February 21, 2011

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Stepping out in city with web dance star

NIFTY moves were on display in the city yesterday as more than 200 people joined Internet star "Dancing Matt" outside Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.

Dancing Matt - aka Matt Harding, an American who dances in front of landmarks around the world - became a web sensation in 2006 with his YouTube videos.

He has danced in 96 countries, often inviting locals to join him.

This was Harding's third visit to Shanghai, but the first time he had danced with local people.

"You don't have to be good at dancing, all that matters is having fun," he said.

All of the moves in Harding's dances are simple, so participants can enjoy themselves without having to concentrate too much.

While most participants were expats, the assembled dancers included a 100-year-old Chinese man.

He learned about the event in a newspaper and came along with his daughter and grandson. Though he planned just to watch, the sprightly centenarian ended up joining in.

Harding had danced his way round Beijing on Saturday and will show off his moves in Hong Kong today.

He said in the past he picked destinations for their scenic properties, but now chooses them for their people.

"I pick the places with the most fans who contact me and invite me to dance there," he said.

Harding had thought about dancing at the China Pavilion, the hugely popular attraction at last year's World Expo, but dropped the plan as the logistics were difficult.

However, Harding would have liked to have seen more Chinese dancers yesterday.

"It is a bit of a pity that not many Chinese people showed up," he said.


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