How Streamer TheDanDangler Turned an Instagram Following Into Success

TheDanClan unite!

A little bubble goes a long way and TheDanDangler is the bubbliest personality on Twitch.

The person behind the screen name, Danielle Lanza, is no stranger to the influencer life. Before becoming a knockout on the streaming giant, she got her start on Instagram. The entrepreneurial nature of the digital world and her desire to connect to others has led her to keep coming back and storming platform after platform, amassing a cumulative following of over 500,000 across Twitch, TikTok, and Instagram.    

streamer TheDanDangler during one of her Twitch streams

TheDanDangler / Twitch

"It doesn’t feel real. When I stream, even when there’s 2,000 people in there, it just feels like there are 20 people...so it all just feels like a bunch of friends," Lanza said in a phone interview with Lifewire. "I don’t think it ever feels real."

Lanza’s supporters follow her wherever she goes, setting the foundation for her success. She said they’re more like friends than fans and have allowed her wildest dreams to come true, ascending to the role of a consummate influencer boasting a multitude of partnerships with Twitch, Call of Duty, and hardware company HyperX. She’s hoping to continue this upward trajectory while bringing her quintessential positive vibes to the world of streaming and cementing a welcoming disposition. 

Quick Facts

  • Name: Danielle Lanza
  • Age: 25
  • Located: Detroit, Michigan
  • Random delight: With friends like these! A friend introduced her to the idea of Twitch and livestreaming on the platform. Her entire group of friends all came together and decided to start streaming on Twitch.
  • Motto/Quote: "Welcome everybody, no judging!"

Model Citizen

Lanza grew up in the metro Detroit area in a nice suburban life with two older brothers, who would eventually jumpstart her love for video games. As a child, she recalls following behind her brothers in everything from sports to video games. 

Her love of video games is practically as old as she is, the streamer said, recalling playing Nintendo 64 classics with her brothers, including Yoshi Story and Super Smash Bros. before graduating to, what she deems, more mature games. 

"It’s always been a hobby of mine. I grew up in a neighborhood full of a lot of guys, so I would play games at their house and make it my goal to try to beat them," she said. "I would sneak in the basement and go play online on my brother’s [game system]... I just wanted to talk to people on the video games."  

She was immediately drawn to the online multiplayer component of gaming as a self-described curious person. Something about the virtual world allows the outgoing components of her identity to peak through. It’s no wonder, she said, she would become a streamer who connects with others in the same ways she did as a child. 

Before treading down the road of content creation, though, Lanza worked as a model, which led to her cultivating an influencer-style following on Instagram. That taste of virtual connection would have her seeking out the opportunity to further connect with people.

TheDanDangler carving pumpkins for Halloween during a Twitch stream

TheDanDangler / Twitch

"I liked [having a following on Instagram]. I hate to admit that," she laughs. "It makes people feel good to know that something about them is likable enough to have people want to follow you. I got a little addicted to it and it made me more entrepreneurial. It made me motivated to get out there and do something to try to grow my platform."

Variety Streamer Extraordinaire

After she got tired of the modeling world, she found her way into Just Chatting makeup live streams before building enough of an audience to transition to gaming streams and general variety content.

But everything hasn’t been hunky-dory. Like many female content creators, she’s had her fair share of harassment. She detailed a harrowing situation with one overzealous fan just this past month and gives caution to other women. 

"I had an incident with someone stalking me [to the point that] I had to go to the police. Learning to deal with people who don’t know boundaries and...everything has been a learning experience," Lanza said. "I was pretty lucky... I heard stories like this with other girls, but this was my first one and it was handled nicely."

"It doesn’t feel real. When I stream, even when there’s 2,000 people in there, it just feels like there are 20 people."

Women don’t get treated the same on Twitch. Between the unique forms of harassment they deal with and the pitfalls of networking with other content creators, Lanza’s found navigating the Twitch environment to be complicated.

However, she hasn’t let these speed bumps affect her or infect her community. It's a community she’s built from the ground up, where anyone from any corner of the internet can escape to and enjoy her bubbly disposition. All while she does everything from stream Call of Duty to cooking segments and IRL-style leisure streams. 

"My community is completely different," she said. "We’re all just trying to keep the [good vibes atmosphere] all the time."

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