Most people may not know Ladonte Lotts by name but ask any college or High School student… they have seen his work. Lotts, is a Senior at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. He will earn a degree in Business Management in Spring 2018. He is studying Business Management because he believes his ideas are big.

Perhaps the millions of views he has attracted on youtube by creating dances are good enough reason to believe his ideas should be taken seriously. Lotts is a trumpet player and a member of the Dance Committee for the legendary Southern University Marching Band, most commonly known as “The Human Jukebox”.

In 2016, the band held a Summer Band Camp for High School students. He taught the students a routine he created to a popular rap song by Mr_Hotspot entitled “Me and My Friends” (commonly called ‘We Get Turnt Up’). Even adults became familiar with the song because it was heavily impacting their kids. Ladonte and the camp students decided to record themselves performing the dance he taught them. The video went viral.

Young people all over the world – multiple nationalities and diverse ethnicities – began copying the steps he created to make their own videos. Southern’s band used the steps in their field performance. Other College and High School bands have used the popular routine as well. The dance steps he created have impacted more than 20 Million people around the world through social media.

“I never expected that routine to blow up like that. I created dances all the time. It was just another day of dancing for me. Every day new people were putting up videos of themselves doing the routine in their living room, at school, in the yard, in the clubs. There were even youth groups from churches having fun with it. It is easy to do, positive, and fun. It became the perfect way for groups of people to do something together and enjoy life,” said Lotts.

He was born in Houston, TX but moved to Louisiana to attend school. “The Louisiana culture is addictive. This state has its own everything… food, music, dialect… it is definitely unique.” Five minutes with him and his passion for Southern University oozes through the conversation. “This band is not just full of people I go to school with. This is my family. I’m not surprised a trend spread though. Most of the trends in this country are set by College and High School students.”

Even though the dance created a trend, Lotts has already created another trend that’s growing quickly. But, this one is attracting adults and kids. “I love Health and Fitness. I love seeing people feel good about themselves. When you watch people dance they are smiling, laughing, and having a good time. Fitness should feel just like that.”

He has a curriculum of Fitness courses called ‘New Lit Fitness’. Of course “Lit” in the Hip Hop world refers to something very exciting… on fire… or simply extremely energetic. One of the workouts under New Lit Fitness is called “Jiggaerobics”. It may not make sense to most people beyond the Hip-Hop music scene, but the name of his class immedately draws attention. People never expect to hear the word ‘Jigg’ in the same sentence with ‘aerobics’.

‘Jigging’ is a style of dance which parallels the root of the Baton Rouge club scene… “Jigg Music”. In South Louisiana, “Jigg Music” controls the dancefloor. Rappers such as Lil’ Boosie, Webbie, Lil’ Josh & Ernest, Foxx, and Louis Badazz to name a few have all made hits to contribute to the growing music trend. Perhaps the first time the word ‘jigg’ was introduced to mainstream was nearly 10 years ago upon the release of “jiggalators” by rapper Sam I Am, who is also a Baton Rouge native.

What makes Ladonte’s ‘Jiggaerobics’ so interesting is the fact that ‘jigging’ itself was made popular because of the state of mind you’re in while ‘popping pills’. While the root of the word ‘jigg’ comes from using substances which destroy the body, Lotts’ classes are meant to build the body. “For most people the dances are fun. Hardly any of the people who do the dances actually use drugs. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe most people even know where the word derived from. Jigging has really evolved from that. It has become the essence of the South Louisiana dance scene. But if we can use those dance steps and mix them in with fitness it’s a giant leap towards breaking the cycle of obesity among African-Americans,” he said.

He has been teaching Jiggaerobics for free on Tuesdays at Southern University but he also teaches it at Northwestern State University, University of Louisiana in Lafayette (UL), and he has been invited to many High Schools, churches, and Non-Profit organizations to speak on Health and Wellness while also introducing parts of his New Lit Fitness program. When he announces he is going to be at a certain location, people immediately begin signing up in massive numbers.  “The consequences of obesity have claimed the lives of many adults but also kids. Without good healthy eating habits and physical routines, we increase our chances of being effected by it,” he says.

“Jigg Music has a very fast tempo. I noticed how tired people are when they finish about twenty to thirty minutes of doing the dances. They don’t realize, with a few additions and implementations… they are actually working out. Moving at this pace burns fat and loses calories quickly. I’ve come up with a plan to help people get fit while enjoying themselves in the process.”

If you and your friends would like Ladonte to visit your city and conduct Jiggaerobics contact his management by email: jiggaerobics@gmail.com or call 225.267.7344. Follow him on Facebook under Jiggaerobics, IG and TW: @jiggaerobics. His personal IG is @ayo_tae or Ladonte Lotts on Youtube and Facebook.

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About Author

Ro Wright is the Co-Owner of Unboxed Possibilities. He and his wife, Sandria Wright, live in New Orleans and they are the founders of the Black Boot Network.

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