Today we’d like to introduce you to Charles Handy.
Charles, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
“It was all a dream” – My journey in the videography and dance space started in Oakland when I was about five years old. It was 1988 and my Mother was taking a videography class at UC Davis, she would bring home cameras, lavalier mics and my brother and I would shoot home videos to tape. In 1989, my Mother married my Step Dad and moved my Brother and I to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. While in Germany, we had access to the latest cameras and editing equipment (tape to tape) and was able to take classes in videography and digital storytelling.
Fast forward to me at the age of 16 moving back to Oakland, I was able to experience the freedom of self-expression through “The Hyphy Movement” – The Bay Area’s youth culture lifestyle, the sideshows (car culture), the turf dancing, the slang, the clothes and everything coming together at “the function” (parties).
After serving in the Army from 2003 – 2005, I moved to Los Angeles. The movie “Rize” was released and when I saw the trailer I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to put the spotlight on Bay Area culture similar to the Los Angeles “Krump” culture profiled in the movie. So, I created “Bridge Dance League,” using my skills of videography and editing to promote underground dance battles on Youtube like the “Bay vs. LA.”
Creating these battles lead to a job as a Community Evangelist at a startup social media website called “DanceJam” co-founded by McHammer in 2008. This opportunity was a dream come true. I had the opportunity to do what I love, get paid well and work with my childhood idol.
In 2008, the market crashed and so did “Dancejam.” However, I was able to continue to use my skills working as a videographer and editor for tv networks, website and blogs. With the support of my wife Aureal, my son Simeon and daughter Asa, I was able to build my brand, “Dancehustle.” In 2013, I had another opportunity to work as an editor at a startup company founded by another one of my childhood idols Sean “Diddy” Combs at Revolt TV.
During my time at Revolt I was able to create so much amazing content and a pilot for a dance show. In 2018, I teamed up with an amazing dancer and good friend of mine FrenchieBabyy. We created our media company DancehustleTV. We have produced “Rolling Loud” backstage recaps, original dance content and dope interviews around the world. We’ve traveled to Romania twice in the past year for Romania’s Got Talent as well as visited Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen.
Has it been a smooth road?
The journey hasn’t been smooth and filled with plenty of ups and downs. My growth came from making mistakes. Working at “DanceJam” at 24 years old, it was the greatest opportunity of my life. I was working in the Silicon Valley with a team of people that graduated from schools like Brown, Cornell and Stanford. Although the job was in the “Dance/Social Media” space which was completely in my wheelhouse, there were times that I could have taken more charge and leaned more into the cultural experience of the dance community.
Please tell us about DancehustleTV.
DancehustleTV is a multimedia company designed specifically for the niche of “Street Dance”. We create engaging content such as interviews, dance tutorials, and recaps of live events. Our goal is to put the spotlight on the street dance culture from hairstyles to dance moves.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Digital content quickly evolves. Quibi is a new platform that allows viewers to switch content to either vertical or horizontal view seamlessly. Virtual Reality technology is going to continue to improve. As for the dance culture, I believe that the next wave of superstars are going to come from the street dance community.