This week, we’re featuring a New York BollyX instructor: Joseph! This panda-loving, talented rockstar teaches at the Bedford Stuyvesant YMCA in Brooklyn. Read more about his colorful past, including dancing with Priyanka Chopra!

Q: Tell us about yourself – what do you do when you’re not teaching? Give us a little on your background.
A: I am just a simple renaissance kid at heart that wants to help make a difference in the world. I love to help others find happiness because it helps me with my own. Of course for me it isn’t easy, but I am my very own warrior. I came from a place where I was bullied so hard that I unintentionally allowed myself believe that I was too worthless to mount to anything. Today, I still face my struggles, but I channel a lot of that pain fighting for #Equality, #BlackLivesMatter, #TransLivesMatter, #ProImmigration, #MuslimRights, generally #AllOfHumanity and of course, the END OF BULLYING.

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. and also raised in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. My late-father was a Jewish Russian and my mother is from The Philippines. I graduated from Manhattan Comprehensive Night & Day High School and attended Marymount Manhattan College as a Humanities Major.

I am First Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do from Family Karate, Lebanon, PA and I had my dance training at several places in NYC such as Broadway Dance Center, Alvin Ailey, Peridance, and of course the real streets of NYC ranging from Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, House, Vogue, Punking / Whacking / Whacking and more.

I was involved in several human rights activist groups such as The Interfaith Center of New York where I traveled to Cape Town, South Africa and got to see Nelson Mandela in The “Parliament of World Religions,” event in The Good Hope Center. I also worked for M.T.E.A.F (aka The Maria Torres Emerging Artist Foundation) by the Dance Legend herself, Maria Torres, where we advocated a musical and campaign against bullying.

As an entertainer, I carried several credentials in film (including Bollywood), tv, and stage such as the Dave Chapelle Show, Jaaneman, Priyanka Chopra, MTV’S Direct Effects (DFX), Vogue Evolution, Gina G, Taborah, opening up for Michael MacDonald, Davey Jones from The Monkees, Michael Bolton, Tweet, Monifah, Lil’Mo, Taylor Dayne and more

When I’m not teaching I am continuing my soul search for what else I am capable of to develop, learn, grow and apply to my everyday life.

Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Dancing at REAL Underground Street Dance Functions such as The Soul Summit, Martial Arts, kickboxing. Hulu, Netflix and cuddle with my LEGO BATMAN PILLOW, Video Games and learning various dance styles such as Waacking, House, Locking, Latin Hustle and anything else new to my body. I am also a very dedicated LAMB (Mariah Carey Fan)!

Q: What other formats do you teach?
A: I am licensed to teach BollyXLIT, Zumba® Fitness, Zumba® Step, Zumba® Sentao, Zumba(r) Kids and Kids Jr. I am will eventually teach Kickboxing soon I receive my certification. I also believe there will be others along the way..

Q: How would you describe BollyX in one word?
A: ROCKSTAR!!!!!!!

Q: What is your favorite part of BollyX class?
A: The students! I love them, their ROCKSTAR poses, and their time to have fun with me on that dance fitness floor.

Q: How has working with BollyX changed you or your lifestyle?
A: It made my work-life less boring. I used to teach a certain Dance Fitness everyday and felt I was just missing my chance to explore other opportunities. I was getting less inspired to the point I was dropping classes. I needed something different and here came BollyX.

Q: How long have you been with BollyX?
A: I became a certified BollyX instructor in May 2016 and started teaching in the following June. Wow! It is about to be almost a year. Time surely flies when you’re NOT bored. Woot! Woot!

Q: What is your favorite BollyX song to teach?
A: Oh my panda! There are so many, but here are my top 3 favorite:
1.) Make Some Noise For The Desi Boyz
2.) Gallan Goodiyan
3.) Hookah Bar

Q: Where do you teach BollyX?
A: Currently at the Bedford Stuyvesant YMCA, Brooklyn, New York. However, I am asked at times to teach BollyX at other YMCA NYC locations.

Take a class with Jojo today!

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