Picture this: 1,000 women breaking a sweat together, bonded by their shared mission of making fitness fun. That was the empowering scene on Sept. 14 during the ultimate Sweat Sisterhood festival aka PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT fest Atlanta. For the third year in a row, founder and CEO of PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT (PGS), Aeshia DeVore Branch, brought the city of Atlanta out and international guests, who traveled from as far as London, for a fun-filled day of contests, live performances, and heart-pumping fitness experiences — each memorable in their own unique way.
Hosted by TV One’s very own Rashan Ali, co-host of the hit daily talk show "Sister Circle," PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT fest ATLANTA gathered fitness enthusiasts, instructors and celebrities alike at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot to workout, build connections, and strengthen their commitment towards staying active.
As guests arrived, they were met by a friendly team of PGS volunteers who checked them in and gifted them with their swag bags stocked with goodies. To keep energy high all day, the hottest tracks blasted throughout the event space thanks to DJ Suga Shae and DJ Milhouse.
Immediately after check-in, the festival experience kicked off for attendees.
Guests were also able to browse the vendor village with their Sweat Sisters and shop products from the coolest fitness and health businesses. Sweat Sisters were also able to fuel up on bars from KIND Snacks, stay hydrated with HINT water, protect their melanin with HINT sunscreen, snap photos in the Halo Booth. Let's not forget about the sample pop-up classes from Double Dutch Aerobics, TFR Xtreme Cycle, Goal Digger basketball activation, and the Survival of the Prettiest competition.
Once doors opened, VIP guests and influencers made their way to the event's Champs Garden space for a morning motivation mixer to help prepare them for the day. KJ Rose, a performance coach for artists like Lil Nas X, helped attendees recognize that there’s a compelling force inside all of us to make an impact on others and influencer them to become their best selves.
As Sweat Sisters began to pour inside, Lauren Cole (and her cute baby bump) guided through a series of fun stretches to prep their bodies for the high-impact activities to follow.
After Planned Parenthood nurse Julia Laine shared how women can ease period cramps through yoga, co-Founders of Vibes & Vinyasa Ronnie Howard and Cohbe Berkeley then led the room through an intention-setting yoga workout.
The festival officially kicked off with an opening ceremony conducted by Rashan Ali. Aeshia DeVore Branch and her two daughters were also brought on stage to welcome everyone in attendance.
Shortly after opening remarks, the city’s beloved Atlanta Hawks Dancers took the stage to perform a high-energy routine they choreographed. DSSD Studio also took to the stage to perform an exhilarating stepping and dancing routine.
Following their amazing performance, the Atlanta Hawks Dancers presented DSSD Studio with a donation check to help them continue their youth dance programs.
Sweat Sisters were then prompted to participate in the organization's annual childhood obesity awareness campaign entitled, SWEAT MAKES CENTS. Guests successfully completed 100 jumping jacks, each jumping jack raising $0.10 for the SWEAT MAKES CENTS jumping jack challenge.
The money raised from the SWEAT MAKES CENTS campaign allowed PGS to present Girls on the Run Atlanta and Sporty Girls Inc. with donations to help them fund their female sports programming.
BET and The Kevin Durant Foundation also generously donated to the SWEAT MAKES CENTS campaign with $7,500 combined to help us continue our health and wellness initiatives.
Next, the SWEATLEBRITY Award Show recognized BrittneBabe, GetBodiedByJ, Kirsten Potenza, and Renee Montgomery for utilizing their social influence to promote healthy living. Honorees were brought on stage to receive a special "sweat drop" trophy and had the chance to talk intimately with the crowd about their fitness journeys.
Following the awards ceremony, attendees geared up for another workout. This time, Sweat Sisters were led through a heart-pumping cardio jam workout called POUND. The sweat session was led by CEO and founder of POUND, Kirsten Potenza.
To cool down after the intense fitness routine, Artist Performance Specialist KJ Rose took the stage to deliver a motivational talk about the importance of showing up for yourself.
Kasey Barnes followed up with a Hip-Hop strength conditioning class.
Amber Gardenhire kept the momentum going with an innovative trap body blast workout.
After getting their sweat on between a few sessions, ladies were able to take a break and venture through a beauty and wellness-focused "style lounge" and a tasty "savor garden" lined with healthy food trucks, or revisit the "vendor village" for shopping. Resha Blivens of Beautycounter helped Sweat Sisters rejuvenate their skin. KIND Snacks, HINT water, and O2 Energy Drinks were within reach to refuel and temporary tattoos were on site to rep the PGS Sweat Sisterhood with pride.
Guests then headed back inside to listen in on a panel about overcoming obesity. The panel was moderated by health reporter Jessica Laine and panelists included entrepreneur and media personality Toya Wright, trainer BodyGawd, instructional coach Donesha Bolden, Gymni Athletics president Laeann Amos-Reed, plastic surgeon Dr. Aisha Barton, and weight loss coach Victoria Brady.
To wrap the day, Christina “Ms. Basketball” Granville encouraged all sweat sisters to join hands while she delivered a few last encouraging words. DJ Suga Shae then played some more jams and guests concluded the day by swag surfing and strutting their stuff down the “Confidence Catwalk.”
One sweat sister, Cree, summed up her experience at our fitness festival by saying: “It was so beautiful to see so many strong black women changing the way of fitness yesterday at Atlanta’s @prettygirlssweat. I loved the event and will be back next year for sure!”
The 2019 PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT fest was sponsored by BET, The Kevin Durant Foundation, O2 Recovery, HINT water, KIND Snacks, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Fresh To Order, Goodwipes, Smooth N Groove, MadameNoire, and Morehouse Healthcare.
A huge thank you to all of the volunteers, event staff, and vendors who partnered with us to make this year's PGSF 2019 happen:
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