Student Spotlight: Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes

Student Spotlight: Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes


While we all love dance, we recognize that sometimes the industry can favor women. That’s why this month’s Student in the Spotlight features one of our male students — Agin Thomas! Agin is a native Philadelphian and medical student who is helping break stereotypes by showing that dance is for everybody. Read on to find out more about Agin and why Philly Dance Fitness inspires him.

PDF: What’s your background with dance?

Agin: I started dancing in high school. I was involved in a group called IPCO (Indian Pakistani Cultural Organization), which combined Indian and hip-hop styles, and we danced at school events. After that, I danced on and off, and halfway into med school I discovered Philly Dance Fitness. I went to a class and it went above and beyond my expectations. I just fell in love with Trina’s hip-hop class and have been going ever since. It’s been at least two years.

PDF: What keeps you coming to Philly Dance Fitness?

Agin: Trina plays a huge role in why I keep coming back. Her music selection is always popping and it just gets into your system and you get into the groove. Her style of teaching is very easy to pick up for anybody, regardless of experience. Every month, she teaches a routine over the course of about four weeks and then at the end we all perform it together. It makes you proud of yourself.

PDF: How does it feel to be one of the few male students at Philly Dance Fitness?

Agin: It doesn’t faze me. I’m there to dance and have a good time, and whether my fellow students are male or female doesn’t really factor in. Everyone I’ve crossed paths with has been amazing and that’s what matters.

MC PhotoPDF: What advice would you have for guys who might be nervous about trying Philly Dance Fitness?

Agin: PDF is the real deal! It can be such an incredible workout and to top it off, it’s fun! There’s such an array of options available, you’re bound to find something you enjoy. Once you’re hooked, you’ll find you’re in it for the long haul. I can honestly say going to my PDF class is one of the highlights of my week!

PDF: Do you have any fitness or dance goals for the summer?

Agin: Actually, yeah! I’ve been on the scrawny, lean side, so I’m trying to bulk up. I started lifting a few weeks ago with the hopes of gaining 10 pounds to fill out a little. Also, I’m doing strength training to maintain flexibility. As for dance, I’d like to perform in more places. One time, for Trina’s class, we performed at International House Philadelphia for the Jewish Film Festival because one of the songs we were doing was in a movie that was featured. I want to do more things in the community like that.

PDF: Do you have any other plans or projects going on in your life?

Agin: A couple of friends and I are planning and hosting a talent show. It’s a fundraiser for cancer awareness and it’s going to be on August 6th at St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church. The purpose is to raise money for St. Jude’s children’s research hospital. We’re looking for different performers, whatever talent people have. So if anyone is interested, please reach out at 

Interview and write-up by Philly Dance Fitness intern Anna Jose.