Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that TikTok is a serious contender in the social media realm. And influencers like Joseph Mazino, founder of the street dance team the Mazinogang, know all-too-well the power social media wields.
Mazino, a talented entrepreneur and dancer, says he can use dance and social media to promote just about anything. These days he’s all about bringing a sense of fun to troubled times and allowing people to showcase themselves doing what they love—self-expression through dance.
Like most talented influencers, Mazino has found a way to turn his passion into a large-scale internet event and moneymaker. The official #vibewithuschallenge, Mazino’s dance challenge, took TikTok by storm with its opening events on April 8th.
Mazino and dance partner Collikrome decided the concept behind “Vibe With Us” would be a great way to get people moving and expressing their creativity. Mazino explains, “The vibe with us challenge is basically an activity made to bring out people’s personality—as the name implies.”
Mazino says the first wave of the challenge did pretty well with 5.4K views on Instagram, and this number keeps growing and growing. Since the “Vibe With Us” challenge is an ongoing event, Mazino believes the more videos they make, the more exposure they’ll get until it becomes the large-scale social media event he envisioned.
Mazino says his inspiration came from a similar event last year.
“My friend, Jacob Fletcher Johnson, Instagram’s @jacob.fj, did the Spazzchallenge last year at the start of the lockdown, and it did exceptionally well,” says Mazino who adds that Johnson came up with his idea to get people moving and having fun during the lockdown.
“Unfortunately, pandemic and restrictions are not over. Like Jacob, I felt the need to create something to keep people entertained and engaged during these tough times.”
So how does Mazino’s dance challenge work? Mazino explains that people who engage in the #vibewithuschallenge will do a brief, choreographed intro and then vibe with music to show the world what they’ve got. TikTok videos are all 59 seconds long, and Mazino says that’s plenty of time to record all of your best moves. “It’s all about just doing what you love,” says Mazino, who doesn’t know where he’d be without dancing.
Mazino recalls falling in love with dancing around eight years old. He says he tried a few formal dance lessons, but like most street dancers, he never felt like he fit in.
“I attended a few dance classes here and there, but I never really followed through because I was always too advanced and felt out of place.”
Therefore, Mazino has relied on his innate skills and desire to perfect them as a self-taught dancer. Aside from that, Mazino admits he learned some dancing moves and how to execute them from watching famous YouTube stars like Ayo and Teo, Lestwins, Thefuturekingz, and Dytto. All of this exposure to some of the industry greats has influenced Mazino and taught him that his passion is big business.
These days Mazino uses his talent to promote anything connected to his brand. From studying the industry greats, he has developed his own style and learned to navigate social media like a star. Most importantly, Mazino says he’s learned a sense of responsibility. His #vibewithuschallenge grew from this need to give others a platform to showcase their talents in this pandemic-weary society.
At age 19, Mazino certainly has a bright future ahead of him, and his #vibewithuschallenge continues to grow as long as people engage and want to show the world what they’re made of—by dancing, of course.