Before joining NutriFormance in 2009, Leo completed his undergraduate studies at Truman State University earning a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He was also part of the ROTC program at the university.
Leo has quite the background in things not-so related to fitness, but certainly explains his dynamic personality and ability to motivate many clients at NutriFormance. He happens to be one of the most versatile performance artists in St Louis, who excels in trick-roping, stilt-walking, aerial silks and Japanese Taiko drumming. Leo is an interactive actor, vocalist, dancer, ringmaster, and book cover model.
Leo made his foray into the world of music and theater as a teen, while attending St. Louis University High School. A member of his church choir, his lifelong dream to become a soccer athlete was shelved when his sister came home from school one day with an urgent message. Apparently, there were not enough boys in her high-school play at the all-girls St. Elizabeth Academy. “My mom said I should help out,” he recalls. “…and so began my acting career.”
Leo attended Truman State University to satisfy his father’s wishes for a necessary ‘back-up plan.’ He intended to stay with academics until his friend persuaded him to audition for musicals and the show choir. By his sophomore year, he had a job at Six Flags. During summers, he joined Nashville’s Opryland.
At age 24 and fresh out of college, Stoff became responsible for the music and productions at Six Flags, where he performed for their shows. At Goldenrod Showboat, he choreographed Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and also played the part of Don Lockwood, Gene Kelly’s character in Singing in the Rain.
He then went on to working summer stock theaters in Florida and Illinois, and spent several weekends at the Des Moines Playhouse in Iowa, where he choreographed Evita.
Leo was offered a job at the Shoji Tabuchi Show in Branson, where Montie Montana taught him roping skills, and Marco Lienhard taught traditional Taiko drumming. He also learned to fly through the air while wearing a harness for a keystone cops clown segment.
Choreographer Sammy Viverito was brought in from New York for the production in Branson, and it was then that Stoff learned the stylistic forms of swing dance, fox trot, monkey and partner lifts. During the off-season, he performed on cruises for Holland America and Royal Caribbean, and followed a disciplined training regime, egged on by fear that an understudy could replace him in a heartbeat.
After six years in Branson, Stoff moved to Nashville, where he performed demos for songwriters, before shopping them around to labels and artists. “I helped audition band members and orchestrated studio time. I was rubbing elbows with famous people in the music industry and had the opportunity to work with them,” he says. “Unfortunately, my schedule was very grueling and it took its physical toll.” It was during this time that Leo got his personal training certification to fulfill his other passion, fitness. He started training people at a nearby gym when he wasn’t working in music.
In 2009 Leo began working the front desk at NutriFormance, and eventually graduated to personal trainer and cardio dance instructor. Beloved by his students, Stoff choreographs a new dance each week for his twice-weekly cardio dance class with music ranging from Hip-Hop to Big Band.
Leo’s believes that there’s always a road to take you where you want to go, but sometimes you need someone to show you the way.