Rasta Thomas was born in San Francisco, California in 1981 and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Rasta studied at the world-renowned Kirov Academy in Washington D.C. As a teenager, Rasta made dance competition history with honors including the Special Jury Prize from the 1994 Paris International Dance Competition, the Gold Medal in the Junior Men’s Division from the 1996 Varna International Ballet Competition, and the Gold Medal in the Senior Men’s Division from the Jackson, MS USA-IBC. In 1995, he became a member of Le Jeune Ballet de France and in 1997, was invited to be a Principal Dancer with the Hartford Ballet. Some of his guest credits include American Ballet Theatre, Victor Ullate Ballet of Spain, National Ballet of China, Joffrey Ballet, Lines Contemporary Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and Pacific Northwest Ballet. In 2001, Rasta was the first American to become a member of the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia and then in 2003 he joined Dance Theatre of Harlem as a Principal. Rasta has danced diverse roles from “Albrecht” in Giselle, “Basilio” in Don Quixote, “Ali” in Le Corsaire, to works by Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Debbie Allen, Ulysses Dove and Jerry Mitchell. Rasta has been in several TV documentaries, performed at the Academy Awards, was a featured dancer in an international ad campaign for GAP, and appeared in the feature film, “One Last Dance”, starring Patrick Swayze. He has performed at the White House for the President of the United States and opened for Aretha Franklin at Harlem’s famous “Apollo Theater”. In 2005, Rasta starred on Broadway in Twyla Tharp’s hit musical, “Movin’ Out”. In 2007, Rasta performed as a guest artist in “Othello” in the title role with American Ballet Theatre for their Met season. Rasta is the founding director of “Bad Boys of Dance” and created Rasta Thomas’ “Rock The Ballet” which toured the world to critical acclaim. BBOD is a returning featured guest artist for NYCDA as well as “So You Think You Can Dance”. Rasta currently runs ShowBiz Dance Competitions and is guest teacher, choreographer and dance artist around the globe.