Dance Aoki

Travel Writer,
Los Angeles, CA, United States

About Dance


A passport ready island girl and passionate Angeleno; aspires to do good; advocates for other Do-Gooders; writes; draws; BA in English, MA in Social Entrepreneurship & Change; meditating on the idea that the world can be improved through rightly directed human effort (meliorism).

M.A. Social Entrepreneurship and Change. Pepperdine Universtiy. 2012.

B.A. English, Creative Writing. University of Southern California. Magna Cum Laude. 2005.

Writing, Editorial and Social Media

• Created blog postings on Wordpress for socially conscious organizations such as the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, ProWorld Belize, Amble Eco-Resorts and Synergies in Sync. 2011 to 2012

• Wrote copy for Adventures by Disney and Disney’s new ‘Aulani Resort and Spa, creating stimulating messaging for the target segments of Disney Resorts marketing campaigns. 2012

• Operated Twitter and Facebook accounts for The Strange, Synergies in Sync and The Hub LA’s social media marketing campaigns. 2010 to 2011

• Filmed a short documentary about Ya’axché Conservation Organization’s rainforest rangers in Punta Gorda, Belize. 2011

• Produced a short video for the Hollywood Farmer’s Market to raise awareness about the organization’s impact on the community. 2011

• Filmed short online videos for nonprofit organizations such as OneWorld Now! and Synergies in Sync to raise awareness about these organizations and their ambitious international goals. 2011

Operational and Administrative Management

• Managed all operational functions of The Strange, a non-profit creative space. Responsibilities included recruitment of volunteers, program development and communication of goals to stakeholders. 2010

• Coordinated all administrative systems of Partizan Entertainment, maintained office aesthetic, troubleshot IT issues, maintained a schedule for production teams, and hired new employees and interns. 2007

• Performed administrative tasks for Ivan Reitman, President Jeffrey Clifford and Vice President Ali Bell at Montecito Picture Company. 2006

• Accommodated for all personal and business needs for Wes Craven, a high profile filmmaker and his family, including scheduling of meetings and coordinating household staff. 2007 to 2009

Team Building and Leadership

• Led a team in the research and writing of a paper entitled “Social Entrepreneurship and the Importance of Storytelling in ‘Changemaking.’” We presented our findings at the Hawaii International Conference for Business. 2011

• Connected with a team of students through Pepperdine University’s Masters of Social Entrepreneurship and Change program and collected interviews of individuals working in philanthropic organizations or social enterprises to observe and analyze best practices in the sector. 2010 to 2012

• Mentored interns at Montecito Picture Company, Partizan Entertainment and Synergies in Sync, offering guidance to young professionals interested in philanthropy and film production. 2006 to 2011

Childcare and Education

• Assisted directors during the Honolulu Theater for Youth’s summer drama program for children between the ages of 6 and 10, developing artwork and dramatic performances for a recital at the conclusion of the program. 2002

• Tutored students at an elementary school as a USC Reader, which focused its program on students living in Los Angeles’ low-income neighborhoods. 2002

• Provided childcare for several families with one or more children under the age of 5, including assistance with meal preparation, engaging children in educational opportunities and transportation between activities. 2010 to 2012.


• Building the capacity of philanthropic organizations to sustainably achieve their missions through better management practices and successful marketing strategies, particularly effective storytelling.

• Garnering interest for civic action in the younger generations to build a philanthropic legacy.


• Technologically savvy, with proficiencies in MS Word, Powerpoint and Excel, as well as the Mac OS programs, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, Final Cut Pro and Adobe CS4. Familiar with multiple lined phone systems, FileMakerPro data management, and Salesforce CRM.

• High-level interpersonal skills: customer service, client recruitment and strategic partnerships.


• Available upon request.




Areas of Expertise

Social Entrepreneurship, Creative Writing, Creative Writing, Screenwriting, Playwriting, Storytelling

An idea worth spreading

Coffee shops are dangerous places where people meet, conspire, think and innovate. More artist entrepreneurs should be taking advantage of these locations and building their own.

I'm passionate about

Art, Media, Social Change, Conservation, Sustainable Agriculture, Gender Equality, Human Rights, Poverty and Hunger, Filmmaking for Social Change

Talk to me about

Social Entrepreneurship, English Romantic Poetry, cinema, documentary filmmaking, Belize, Hawaii, Los Angeles, London, cultural capital and social media for social good.

People don't know I'm good at

Poetry. Karaoke. Pop culture.

My TED story

After watching Jeff Skoll's TED talk about Participant Media, I became infatuated, not just with Jeff Skoll, but with the entire TED community. I hope to one day attend one of the talks and call myself a fellow, but until that day comes, I will enjoy feeding my brain with as many good ideas as TED can offer me.

Comments & conversations

Dance Aoki
Posted over 3 years ago
What did you do today to help someone else?
I started a new job as a caretaker for an elderly woman close to 90 years old. She has manic depression and needs a caretaker to assist with her day to day duties, especially when she is in her low phases. Today, she emerged from her low phase, so we got mani-pedis to celebrate the beautiful day.
Dance Aoki
Posted over 3 years ago
Homelessness is not an excuse for defeat
I think you're oversimplifying a vastly more complex issue. The path out of homelessness has as much to do with economics, geography, culture, domestic partnerships, education, job training, availability of social services and opportunities for success rather than individual motivation alone. Many individuals experiencing homelessness don't have the kind of human support they need to exist in a stable environment. Many individuals have had doors closed in their face at every turn. Many individuals experiencing homelessness were married, but when their spouse passed away, they weren't able to make ends meet on a solo income. Many individuals experiencing homelessness are employed, but are living out of their cars because their minimum wage isn't enough to pay for a security deposit. Many of those experiencing homelessness couldn't afford health insurance and suffered under the pressure of expensive health care. Since the economic downturn, many soup kitchens and shelters have seen a spike in the number of families seeking relief. I believe in finding a balance between providing relief to a suffering individual by offering food and shelter, but also providing services that develop each individual's ability to find their independence. In a country so wealthy and with access to so many resources, there should be no reason we can't provide relief for the most vulnerable and exposed among our citizens in a sustainable and responsible way. In developing countries, social entrepreneurship and microfinance is a way for the poor to pull themselves out of poverty. America is less accepting of this practice. I'm wondering if there is a deeper question to be asked here.
Dance Aoki
Posted over 3 years ago
How can creatives use new technologies to increase empathy across cultural and geographic distances?
Yes, it takes talent and skill for an artist to "move us!" It's about invoking feelings of empathy and then creating an environment for participation. There have been cognitive behavioral studies about the effectiveness of media in social change movements when you can invoke empathy in an audience and then provide opportunities for people to go out and make that change. Participant Media's (An Inconvenient Truth, Food Inc, Waiting for Superman Jeff Skoll's production company) strategy is to create movies that invoke empathy and then give audiences action points on how they can contribute and make a real impact.