Pepper Von is a national and international dance and fitness educator, motivational speaker, published author, and co-owner of Step I Dance & Fitness in Sacramento, California. Previously a Zumba Education Specialist (ZES), and one of the top educators of dance science for the International Sports Medicine Association. He is a continued education provider for the American Council on Exercise, and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Pepper is founder of the World Aerobic Kickboxing Association International, the Hip Hop competition category of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), creator and CEO of the global fitness format FIERCE FUNk ® Dance Fitness, and co-creator of F4 Fierce (a Group-Ex fitness system).
Pepper’s stage and screen credits include: featured co-host on the award winning ESPN Fitness Pros; appearances on Extra, MTV, NBC Emmy Awards, Fox’s Say No to Drugs/Kids Reaching Out and the CW; Las Vegas on Stage (Japan), Inner City Games with Arnold Schwarzenegger, National Championship Tour with Gregory Hines, Tops in Blue (World Tour) and Arabian in the Sacramento Ballet’s Nutcracker. Pepper also appeared in the Cake music video No Phone.
Pepper has been recognized for his leadership, mentorship and community volunteerism including the Presidential Sports Award, Attorney General Award of Merit, American Aerobic Association International Instructor of the Year, International Dance and Fitness Association Make Fitness Happen Award, and Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Human Rights Award. In addition, Pepper received two Elly Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for Smokey Joe’s Cafe and Best Choreography of a Musical for “Let’s Go”. He is a United States National Aerobic Fitness Champion.
He has fostered and is mentor and inspiration for A-List, award winning screen actresses Brie Larson, and television BET superstar Danielle Truitt, the world-renowned Jabbawockeez. Beto Perez, the creator of Zumba, recognized Pepper as his mentor and inspiration for starting Zumba. Pepper was a member of California State Senator Darrel Steinberg’s Committee on Juvenile Justice, Youth Violence Prevention and High School Retention. He is co-founder of Dream Collectives, a youth-based life skill enhancement program focusing on choices, self-esteem building, education, test taking strategies, nutrition, health and fitness, drug and gang awareness/intervention/prevention. Pepper is also the owner of E.I.E. (Enough Is Enough) anti-bullying program. Presently, Pepper is a member of the executive board and dance liaison for Ben Vereen’s “Wellness Through The Arts” (WTA) organization focusing on mental, physical, and emotional wellness for high school students.