It's very likely that you're one of the million or so people who saw the viral video clip of The Dancing Man at the Sasquatch Festival, an outdoor music event in Washington state.
What happened is rather simple. While musician Santigold (formerly Santogold) was performing "Unstoppable," a camera captured a young energetic shirtless guy doing a crazy dance all by himself. Under normal circumstances, many people would simply be embarrassed for him and leave it at that. But then another guy joins in on the fun and then another. Soon, the individual joie de vivre of a dude with no shame becomes contagious, as hundreds of concertgoers run - run! - to join the dance party. The power of one here is really something to behold. Watch, if you haven't already:
Whenever I see a cute young energetic shirtless guy doing a crazy dance all by himself, I do one of two things. I either slip a dollar bill in his underwear (since I'm often at male go-go dancer bars, this is a reflex) or, if I see him on the Internet, I track him down like a stalker - which is how I managed to find out that the Dancing Man is a Canadian named Collin Wynter and was totally game to answer a few questions for The Bilerico Project.
The video made Canadian headlines a few weeks ago, but Wynter is no stranger to headlines. In 2002, he and his then-boyfriend entered and won a kissing contest (the first round involved being in a six-hour lip-lock in public at a mall) sponsored by Hot 103 Radio and the Garden City Shopping Centre. Since it was a general competition (presumably straight-centric), the gay couple's win took many by surprise, and the Winnipeg Sun published positive articles about the duo, which drew outrage from some conservative readers.
The Sun received hate mail, but Wynter notes that folks had already been talking back at the mall: "There were many people that stopped and stared. Some disgusted, some supportive. I overheard a mother explaining to her child that sometimes boys kiss boys. Some other kids gawked and were rude."
What compelled Wynter to participate in such a public display of same-sex affection? "To make a statement," he asserts. "Personally, I've always enjoyed pushing boundaries a bit simply by being myself."
Well, being himself paid off, and the couple won a vacation package.
With his dancing video in wide circulation, the win here is less concrete, but I do know that many of my friends were uplifted by the clip.
Wynter waxes philosophical about it. "You can affect others around you in a positive manner, as we have obviously seen in this video," he says. "Ergo, self-expression, being free, does have a positive contagious effect upon people for the betterment of society at large."
You see? I knew those go-go dancers were changing the world!