We had the good fortune of connecting with Dalton Shooks and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dalton, what matters most to you?
“Leave people better than you found them.” This industry is cut-throat. This world is cut-throat. I’ve found it to be much more beneficial, and vital in my case, to prioritize other peoples’ well being over driving solely towards whatever idea of “success” lives in my mind at that moment. Don’t get me wrong – I think that defining and understanding what success looks and feels like is crucially important. But I think that life is SO much bigger than any one achievement or even string of achievements we may see, and it’s very easy to lose sight of that when you catch the scent of something that is very desirable. I’ve also found that, at least for me, there’s power in the community that comes from just being a nice and pleasant person. It builds a team of people that want to see you win, which means I have people to go to and ask for help should I need it, but I also have people that want to celebrate with me if and when I win. I don’t care who you are, that’s magical. And you don’t get that if you’re an asshole.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Man, I’m proud of all of it. I grew up in a small town in Oregon and I had never even thought of the word “dance” until I was a freshman in college. I had just made a major life decision to not pursue a career in photography, which had been my focus for nearly 5 years leading up to this point, and I had a friend invite me to a boy’s breakdancing class at the one studio in my hometown. If you want to talk about humility, I was a full 2 feet taller than all of the boys in this class and probably 10 years older and they were SCHOOLING me. But I loved it, and from there it was game on. I had no business being in that class, like I had no business moving to LA or getting involved with these professional training programs or getting signed to a talent agency or getting to work the amazing jobs that I’ve been blessed with. But God decided there was a place for me. It definitely was not easy, but doing anythings worthwhile never is, right? The thing is it’s been enjoyable. Someone close to me told me long ago that valuing yourself as a student in any situation means that you get to learn and grow from everything, and that mindset has gotten me through quite a bit.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If we’re talking my hometown friends then we’re going riding. We’re taking our motorcycles out to the Angeles Crest Forest or one of the amazing canyon roads in Malibu, and then cruising PCH for the sunset. I’m a big gearhead and LA has a ton to offer from the Petersen Auto Museum to South OC Cars and Coffee or any of the iconic roads, shops, or motorcycle meet ups. We’re going to see some live music. I don’t really know where, but any jazz night you hear about in LA will be one of your favorite memories, in my experience. For food, we’re definitely going to Midici in Sherman Oaks and we’re getting Korean BBQ. It’s become so crazy popular in the last couple of years, but I have really fallen in love with Joshua Tree so getting a quiet AirBnb or camp spot for a few days to escape the city might make its way on the list too.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Man, that list is long. To the people who have come along side me, supported me in hardship and celebrated with me in victories, and LOVED me. I think those people know exactly who they are. Y’all the realest.

Website: daltonshoots.com

Instagram: @daltonshooks / @daltonshoots

Image Credits
Wes Klain, Daniel Jae Oliva, Sony Pictures

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