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

Hi Daniel, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am originally from South Dakota. Coming from a small state, it pushed my curiosity of global cultures and travel. After graduating university, I joined the Peace Corps and lived in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in West Africa. I found different experiences fascinating, so I would bring a camera with me wherever I go, documenting and filming everything I experienced. This has led to further my travels and living abroad in places far away such as South Korea, China, and Alaska. Nowadays I own a media production company that focuses on documenting the movement arts scenes around the world.

So in a way, my small town upbringing helped pursue my global curiosity, and I hope people can see that the content I create.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I specialize in creating content for the movement arts. The movement arts for me is any physical action that can be translated artistically like dance, tricking, and stunts. I started off as a dancer (breaking) in university, but quickly found I wasn’t as good as others, so I got a camera and started filming the dance scene I fell in love with.

I started filming in university in 2001, In the last 20 years, there have been many times where I was told to stop filming, or to pursue something else that is more of a professional career. But for me, I was thinking, “If this makes me happy, why not continue?” Now in 2021, I would have never imaged the dance scene to be where it is now. You have platforms like IG and TikTok specializing in dance, huge brands like Red Bull creating dance competitions, and breaking will debut in the Olympics in Paris 2024. That is so wild! I still can’t believe it. And because I’ve been filming dance for more than 20 years from the start, I’ve been fortunate to have a creative role in all of this. I am extremely excited for the future.

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?
I love the outdoors. I would take friends out to Malibu. We would get a daytime meal at Malibu Cafe in the mountains. It’s such a hidden gem with its rivers, human sized board games, and scenery. Then go to Point Dume and climb the cliffs for one of the most epic sunsets. Sometimes we can spot dolphins from above.

Speaking of sunsets, one of my favorite places to take friends is the downtown Intercontinental for a drink at the 73rd floor bar, Spire 73. It’s really cool seeing helicopters fly by during sunset time.

After dinner, visiting the LACMA Urban Lights at nighttime is very memorable and free.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to recognize all of my colleagues at my small company, Stance Elements. If it were not for them I would not do what I do today. It’s a massive world out there, and it’s much more fun doing creative projects with friends than alone. It’s hard working in social media and content creation these days. The amount of stress and creative pressure is high. Having friends as colleagues makes the grind worth it.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stanceelements/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stanceelements

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/stance

Image Credits
Kien Quan Carlo Cruz Jerm Gonz Anderson Ko Kibuuka

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.