About Us

Mel Baltazar

Co-Founder, Executive Director

A Dance Dance Revolution fan since 1999 and 10-time DDR Freestyle tournament champion. Worked as a QA tester and step data contributor for Konami (Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix and Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 2). Featured in televised segments for TechTV, VH-1, and KPIX.

Currently develops the strategic plan for and oversees the execution of live events, remote competitions, marketing, and community outreach.



James Gowdey

Creative Director

DDR devotee since 2001 and 4-time freestyle tournament champion with a passion for video production and the performing arts.

Currently develops marketing and branding for all Takeover events, producing video and podcast content and maintaining social media presence across all platforms. Here to highlight the talent & dedication of freestylers worldwide and inspire newer players to get up and perform.



Paolo Sambrano

Marketing Director

DDR found him in 2001. A penchant for writing, game design, and solo performance. One-time freestyle tournament honorable mention.

Currently writes the copy you’ve been reading at Freestyle Takeover in addition to being the first voice you hear on the Freestyle Takeover podcast.


Ryan Godinez

Procurement Director

Began playing DDR in 2000, felt at home in the community, and returned in 2017 after a long absence to launch Freestyle Takeover and bring DDR Freestyle into the social media and streaming age.

Currently pitches crazy ideas to the Freestyle Takeover team and is a part of the execution of live events.