It's rare to see a group of friends successfully turn a hobby into a full-fledged business, and yet the Massive Monkees have done just that. Massive is a breakdancing crew born in 1999 here in Seattle. It's been a whirlwind ride since then, with the team achieving international fame (remember America's Best Dance Crew?), world championships and numerous endorsements. While this could have easily parlayed into a launchpad for the individual careers of a few of its standout dancers, Massive instead stuck together and turned their collective efforts back into the city that raised them.
In January of this year, the team opened The Beacon, a 2000+ sf studio in the International District that was was made possible through a grant from Storefronts Seattle. Over 400 students, both young and old, have since walked through The Beacon's doors for the opportunity to dance and learn from members of the Massive Monkees as well as local dance professionals, like Amy O'Neal, Splinter Dance Company and C&C Fitness Studio.
Their grant with Storefronts Seattle is coming to an end this month, and they've started a Kickstarter to help Keep the Beacon Lit.
Photo courtesy Massive Monkees The Studio's Facebook page
I've been a fan of the Massive Monkees for almost their entire existence. They've been a part of my life through appearances at the University of Washington, Pista sa Nayon and more. I never forget the first Massive Monkees Day proclaimed to them by former Seattle mayor Greg Nickels in 2004. It was my birthday :) It feels like I've grown up with them, and for that I want to see them succeed however I can.
As a crew, we have shared in these experiences that have changed our lives for better in so many ways. We recognize how great of a gift that was for us and recognize that we now have an opportunity to carry on the tradition and pay that forward to the next generation of dancers and young artists. Through Massive Monkees classes, workshops, school shows, community events and Massive Monkees Studio: The Beacon, hopefully we can give them the tools to take it to the next level and go on to accomplish great things as well.
They are just about halfway to their goal of $30,000 with a little over two weeks left! Head over to their Kickstarter page for more info and to donate.
Thanks to Brysen Angeles & Joe Stolte for their help in creating this post!