Eugene Cho

near naked dancing dude: courage, freedom, herd mentality, or movement

n658565066_3877Take three minutes to watch this video from the 2009 Sasquatch Music Festival from our very own, Washington State. One shirtless dude (his name & story below) is dancing all alone to the song UnStoppable by Santigold. After some awkward gyrations, another guy amazingly joins him in dancing; and then a third, and then a group of people. And before you know it, a full party and movement takes place.  It’s a must see video:

Here are my questions:

  • What is going on? What do you think?
  • Is this an example of visionary leadership?
  • Is this an example of courage? Individuality? Freedom?
  • The first guy dancing has guts but isn’t the 2nd (& 3rd person) that join him even more courageous?
  • How great is it to see the group grow into a huge ‘movement? But at the end, is it just herd mentality?

All interesting questions to consider but I was absolutely struck by the 2nd and 3rd person that join the ‘dance party.’  The first guy just looked awkward dancing all alone. His dancing didn’t help either.  We all know how important the primary visionaries are but we often underestimate the importance of the primary supporter, #2, executive pastor, ‘right hand person,’ partner, the Jonathan, or whatever other word or description you like to use.

And who was the “dancing man?”  His name is Collin Wynter from Calgary, Canada.

Collin Wynter, 28, was caught on camera last month at the Sasquatch music festival in George, Wash. Videos of the “dancing man” were uploaded to YouTube, where tens of thousands of people have watched his moves.

In the most popular one, re-posted several times, Wynter is dancing alone but his enthusiasm quickly draws of a crowd of dancers.

Wynter said his roommate warned him that people were taking videos and photos of him, but he wasn’t concerned.

“I truly, firmly believe that music is the language of the soul and how we communicate that language is through dance,” Wynter said. “I enjoy meeting new people. I enjoy having friends and stuff. I enjoy having a good time and I really just wanted to let myself go.”

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30 Responses

  1. Rachel says:

    It seemed like #2 brought more and he definitely encouraged the third guy. It’s interesting how people are RUNNING to dance with him.

    Interesting parallel with leadership. I’m going to have to noodle that one.

  2. Kathy says:

    I wonder about the role of the lyrics…”I’ve got to be unstoppable…” Aren’t there those times when the music itself moves us outside of ourselves and connects us to something beyond our own worth – and don’t we all want to be a part of that????

  3. Starz says:

    It is very funny video. This free lane dancer(s) really had the gut. My own lesson by watching this video: conquer the fear of failure and truly be one-self to be a great leader (messengers of Christ).

  4. I think a lot of things came together for this scene to happen. Eventually the scene reached it “tipping point”.

  5. Monts says:

    I think it’s interesting at the very end of the video his friends who video’d the whole thing asked the question repeatedly, “How did he do that?! How did he do that?!”

    I think that’s a very telling question/statement.

  6. Zach says:

    This was fun to watch. I like considering this episode holistically. It took diverse variables for this spontaneous dance party to occur. From music with a driving beat and lyrics belting out “I’ve got to be unstoppable,” to free and courageous individuals who risked looking silly in order to express themselves and have a good time.

    This video also confesses to just how much the majority wants to stay put and not make a scene. Yet under the surface of many, lies the desire to break out of those constraints.

  7. zenallenar says:

    I thought it was interesting that after Guy #3 showed up people began coming in groups not ones. Reminded me of the Fibonacci Sequence.

  8. Carol says:

    It’s interesting to notice that as more people joined the “dancing party” that the dancing changed to accommodate the growing number of participants. It wasn’t regulated and yet…Their enthusiasm, joy and fun was contagious…lessons for the Church? I think so.

  9. Eugene Cho says:

    I admit: There are many times I just want to take off my shirt and dance like crazy.

    Perhaps, this Sunday at Quest…

  10. L. LeBron says:

    Why did it take the guy sitting so close in the red shirt all the way to the end to get up? I was surprised when he finally did and it didn’t seem to be to get out of the way. What finally moved him?

  11. […] Eugene Cho has a thought provoking post on this video over at his blog. You should check it out. […]

  12. […] Lessons from the Dancing Man Watch this video and take a look at the questions.  This looks like a scene that Jesus would notice and then point […]

  13. Randall says:

    @Eugene…maybe at the 5pm service?

  14. thegifthorse says:

    Seth Godin wrote an interesting blog about this guy a couple weeks ago. He insists that the third guy was almost as important as the first. What amazes me too is that people are running to be a part of it at the end.

    I think I’m going to put up a quick blog about this: shameless self-promotion-

  15. […] you’ve already watched the video above.  A couple of my favorite bloggers (Seth Godin and Eugene Cho) have already written entries about this video.  Godin insists that the third guy who joins the […]

  16. kellohitty says:

    It seems to me like an allegory of how we are to be as Christians and how do we draw others to God. We must have the courage to dance alone, as free and as confidence in God, as that lone man dancing with everyone watching him. And then we are joined by others who, seeing us dance, wondered at the beauty and freedom to be with Christ, desired to join. …and then came the crowd.
    So it seems, anyone can be a huge influence and make a big difference in the world…if we have that person’s courage, then the wonder of God will do the rest.
    I think Church is started like that, with one man dancing.
    So how’s your dancing Eugene? b/c I’ve heard you rap and I’m not so confidence about that🙂

  17. Ty says:

    I was an eyewitness to this whole event, that man was a visionary.

  18. Adam says:

    dude… the 3rd guy must be the youth pastor.

  19. […] courage or herd mentality? Take three minutes to watch this video from the 2009 Sasquatch Music Festival from our very own, Washington State. One […] […]

  20. stan says:

    the second guy (to me) was making fun of the dancer (looking back at his friends laughing), but he immediately added credibility regardless of his motives, the third guy added to the silliness and opened the flood gates. i was just as struck by the late (adapters) arrivals – those that missed the party – especially the last guy who decides he’s too far away to join the group and veers left (is there a porta potty down here?)

  21. aaron says:

    I guess it could be called courage… I would probably call it freedom. I have been to concerts where I want to dance and run around like an insane person, but I don’t because I do not want to be that guy…. Maybe he was doing it to draw attention to himself or draw a crowd, but my guess is he felt free to enjoy the music… and in so doing gave others the freedom to do the same.

  22. […] Eugene Cho posts this YouTube video of a spontaneous male dancer at the Sasquatch Festival in Washington and the viral way the dance expands. […]

  23. katie says:

    i was at Sasquatch (not that day, but the day before), and i have to say, i think 90% of the people at that concert want to be dancing the whole time but 75% of them won’t do it unless others are! The other 15 or so percent are either intoxicated or truly bold. One guy in front of me at the Passion Pit concert was totally in his own world just dancing by himself and loving it…I loved watching him and was thinking “damn, i wish i was that comfortable in my own skin!”

  24. Herd mentality has more to do with grouping together in fear to avoid a perceived common threat. I’d say this is just the opposite: I’d call it ‘family mentality’ – individuals seek a place of freedom and joy.

    It was so beautiful to see everyone enjoying themselves. Made me wish I was there.

  25. urbanreality says:

    It is party and everybody loves to party.

  26. […] Eugene Cho deserves props. Cho wonderfully points out the fact that a visionary doing his thing can be rather difficult to watch until others join him. […]

  27. […] Eugene Cho deserves props. Cho wonderfully points out the fact that a visionary doing his thing can be rather difficult to watch until others join him. […]

  28. todd fadel says:

    this happened at Easter and reminds me of the Sasquatch man:

  29. Pat says:

    I agree with the response above… it is “Family mentality!” You have to have been from the GOOD part of the 60s and early 70s to understand that “good vibe” going out and makIng you move too. BTW-I am a 54 year old Mother of 4 and a Registered Nurse.

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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