Dennis Danehy, an accomplished performer, manager, instructor, host, and emissary, is the son of Don “Campbellock” Campbell, creator of the world renown 1970’s dance “The Campbellock” (aka “Locking”)—Hip Hop’s first dance. Through this deep and loving connection Dennis began his professional career at age 4 with the dance troupe his father headed, “The Lockers”, performing with them throughout his early childhood. Due to the excitement and rush that this on-stage exposure had on him as a young child, Dennis took up acting in his early adulthood, honing his craft at Santa Monica College where he studied classical theater, method acting, and improvisational technique. His diligent work paid off in 1997 when he was granted the role of Zeus in Ian Foxx’s revival of the August Wilson penned play 5 on the Back Hand.
It was also in 1997 that Dennis took over as his father’s manager, re-introducing Mr. Campbell as a significant force in and contributor of Hip Hop dance culture. In fact, because of Dennis’ meticulously aggressive career management Mr. Campbell has subsequently appeared as a panelist, guest speaker, performer, master class teacher, and judge at a great number of the premier venues that cater to the Hip Hop dance community. In addition, Dennis has arranged for Mr. Campbell to travel the world while promoting the dance he invented, and paving the way for his father to appear in numerous publications throughout the globe that cater to Hip Hop culture. In 2006, Dennis added “Boogaloo Sam” Solomon, the creator of popping and boogalooing to the growing roster of dancers which he manages.
Dennis’ first love, however, has always been the inherent joy that dancing itself creates. This was manifested by his return on-stage with his father in November 2004 as a featured performer in Rennie Harris Presents the Legends of Hip Hop, a dance revue that toured Los Angeles (The Red Cat Theater) and New York City (The New Victory Theater on Broadway). In 2005, Dennis began teaching Hip Hop dance (Trendy, Popping, Locking, B-Boying, Old School, Vogueing, Freestyle) at the Motion Pacific Dance Studio in Santa Cruz, where in the summer of that year he also began performing with the Motion Pacific Dancers, helping to spread the positive effects of dance to that coastal California community. Happily, the shows were an enormous success and brought tremendous traffic back to the MPDS.
In August of 2005, Dennis had the opportunity to attend the first USA/World Hip Hop Championship—produced by Hip Hop International—as a judge, panelist, announcer, choreographer, performer and full supporter of the event. It was here that Dennis had the pleasure of working extensively with Howard and Karen Schwartz, founders of Hip Hop International and the creators/producers of the hit dance show on MTV, America’s Best Dance Crews. From this association, Dennis was able to travel to Ireland to teach several old school Hip Hop dance workshops and give a lecture on Hip Hop culture. In April/May 2006, Dennis became one of the first members from the Hip Hop community to teach Hip Hop dance, history, and culture in China by conducting workshops in the cities of Nanjing, Ghougzhou, Chondong and Shenzhen with Hip Hop Connixion choreographer, Karlo Familiara. In July 2006, Dennis rejoined Hip Hop International and Howard Schwartz in bringing not only the most popular USA/World Hip Hop Championship ever to the masses, but also being partially responsible for the welcome success of The World Battle Bboy/Bgirl Crew Championship.
As a crowning moment for the familial affection between them Dennis joined his father Mr. Campbell, at the 2006 Championship’s Urban Moves 3, teaching a Locking workshop with him (his father) for the first time ever. In 2007, Dennis joined Hip Hop International full-time as an Associate Producer, bringing his brainchild the Locking and Popping Worldbattle to fruition in the World Battles Week section of The USA/World Hip Hop Championship.
In 2007, Dennis toured parts of Europe (Italy, Sicily, Switzerland, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Russia) judging competitions and teaching master classes on old school Hip Hop and breaking down the fundamental barriers that exist in Europe about Hip Hop dance, while concurrently spreading the foundation on which its culture was based on and rests. Today Dennis teaches Hip Hop dance privately in Los Angeles, spends his time producing events, judging competitions and teaching master classes, and continues to manage the careers of his father and other dancers.
As a side project, Dennis has been diligently producing and writing the original story for a feature film about his father’s life. This project has garnered intense interest and has variously been attached to well-know performers such as Usher, Omarion and Chris Brown.
Dennis’ dedication to family is exemplified by the great love for and example that he shows to his son and the close relationship he has with his parents. His passions include basketball, comic books, movies, art, cooking, traveling, sneakers, fashion, music, teaching, coloring, giving back to the community, action figures and toys, writing poetry, and staying ahead of the trend. Those of us who have worked with him (We that have worked with him) would describe him (self) as kind, considerate, loyal, honest, compassionate, revolutionary, articulate, passionate, intelligent, a fighter, a lover, assiduous, strong-willed, stubborn, funny, quick-witted, a leader, book smart, street savvy, a teacher, a comedian and a team player.
His obvious talents as an M.C. and show host are readily apperent when begins to talk about Hip Hop Dance and Culture. The plethora of information and history in regards to this subject matter is instantly apparent to anyone who is engaged with him. It is during these moments that one encounters the passion, naturalness, and ease that Dennis has with people. His affable, yet informed nature instantly comes shining through- as I’m certain you will all discover.