I, Larry (Pop) Thomas Jr., have been dancing since the age of 16. Growing up in a small town called Midway, Alabama made it difficult for me to stay motivated but yet I fail to let that discourage me. Dancing has allowed me to become healthier in so many ways.
While attending high school, I fail to realize that being overweight was affecting my life. Being ashamed of my body led to refusing to try out for my high school basketball team. As time passed and after seeing my reflection in the mirror one day, I knew that I had to do something quick because I was upset with the way that I looked. My Junior year in high school was life-changing because my best friend and I, decided to start a step team which I never knew I would be so passionate about. Becoming Captain of my high school step team gave me the urge to take the talent of guiding others through dance.
After high school, I wanted to try something different so I started my own hip hop dance team which led to winning every competition in the area I lived in. Everyone started to grow up and move on after so many years passed. My passion for dance, the ability to teach and help others become healthier, grew stronger. I knew I had the talent to do more than just dance but only God knew what else it was.
Being diagnosed with a brain dysfunction in 2011, was motivation to dance even harder and live for God. I started my own hip hop cardio class in 2012 which allowed me to share my talents with others. I seen Zumba Fitness advertised on tv which caught my attention so I decided to search for a class to attend. It was like love at first site because it felt like a party-like atmosphere but at the same time I was burning calories, which amazed me. Throughout the years I went from weighing 250lbs to 170lbs. I found something I was able to enjoy alone with others. I never thought I would become a Zumba Instructor which happened January of 2013 at the blank of an eye. I knew it was all God!
Being a back up dancer and a choreographer for a local artist improved my skills in stage preferences. Gymnastics, which I taken for almost a year was a resource that helped build muscles, endurance and nerves up to the max. I have performed at many venues around the world as a backup dancer/choreographer.
I decided to take Dance Fitness to another level which led to becoming a Beach Body CIZE Instructor January 16, 2016. I have been blessed with many other talents such as playwriting, video editing, photography, mentoring, line dancing, mime and praise dancing, just to name a few. Dance has become my main focus.
After my Father passed in June of 2015, due to a tragic motorcycle wreck, motivated me not to give up on my passion. “Go ahead and do it son,” which are the words my Father told me a couple of days before his death which is why I decided to name my studio after my father, with a twist of my nickname (Pop). Working at Tyler Perry studios as a Security Guard inspired me to incorporate film, music video, photography and educational classes when the opportunity presents itself. “Everyone is a star in my eyes,” which is the quote that inspires me to keep sharing my talent and love with others. I have realized that my life means more than just me.
“God is calling us to shift our priorities towards our passion and not our distractions.”