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Black Eyed Peas Star Gets Kids Moving To Promote Healthy Living

A pop music star helped motivate students at a Jacksonville elementary school Monday.

Black Eyed Peas rapper, Jaime “Taboo” Gomez, taught the kids at Tiger Academy elementary school some new dance moves, as well as the importance of physical fitness.

And Taboo, as a father of four, takes his job as an American Cancer Society healthy living ambassador very seriously.

Using a song from his 2014 solo album "Zumbao," Taboo gets the students to follow his lead like a sped-up game of “Simon Says.”

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“We actually practice together in my garage, still to this day," said Gomez about his love of dancing. "My son Jalen is always saying ‘dad are we going to dance today?’

"That motivation and that spark that he has is the thing I’ve had since I was 5 years old.” 

Gomez says, when he visits schools, he hopes adults will continue what he starts with the kids.

“If I could present that and just one person at a school gets activated or inspired, then I feel like I’m doing a good job,” he said.

The Tiger Academy kids will perform the dance they learned at the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day on Saturday. 

The YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day is one of many community initiatives to address the rising rates of childhood obesity. In Florida, 30 percent of kids are obese or overweight. Jacksonville’s rate is about 28 percent. 

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.