2014 Essence College Tour and PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT Make Final Stop at Hampton University

The 2014 ESSENCE College Tour made its final stop at Hampton University on Thursday, October 30 during the school’s annual homecoming and brought along PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT to host a Zumba dance workout and health seminar for students and alum.

Let us set the scene for a second here: picture a carpeted conference room turned fitness studio enclosed in nearly floor to ceiling glass walls and filled with several students motivated to break a sweat. Sounds pretty inspiring, right? Well, it was! 

Dozens of female students proved that even if it's a homecoming, you don't get a free pass to slack off in the exercise department. The workout began with a stretch session led by Jessica Elaine Edwards, owner of Respectapole Dance Fitness, LLC.

After participants warmed up and loosened their muscles, Kris Davis turned things up with an explosive Zumba workout infused with hip hop and Latin moves while students stared through the glass windows with admiration.

Former Miss Hampton Shayma Sulaiman volunteered at the sweat session along with her best friends Antoinique Abraham and Branda Johnson. All three are recent grads from Hampton University and succeeded in PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT student programs.

We love a good workout and it's clear that Hamptonians do too! Not only did guests receive valuable health tips and a free fitness class, but they walked out with a few beauty products from UltraSheen and scored PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT merchandise. Yep, homecoming has never looked more healthy.


Jessica Elaine Edwards, the owner of Respectapole Dance Fitness, LLC, was born and raised in Flint, Michigan and attended Flint Northern High School where she participated in the marching band, Girl Scouts, and track & field.  After high school, she graduated from Hampton University in December of 2001 with her Bachelors Degree in Business Marketing. After graduating college at Hampton University, she was hired by the Fortune 500 Company Johnson and Johnson to work in their Sales and Marketing Department at their home office in Titusville, New Jersey. I was later promoted to become a Pharmaceutical Representative for Johnson & Johnson where she spent the next 9 years selling various medical devices and pharmaceutical products such as antibiotics, pain medications, antifungals, Alzheimer’s, antipsychotics, and acid reflux medications to health physicians and nurses in the health and wellness industry. Having spent many years working in the field of Sales & Marketing representing health and wellness, she found her passion for health and fitness. It was then that she decided to go into business for herself doing what she loves in the health and fitness industry.  In October 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Respectapole Dance Fitness in the city of Hampton. In the past 5 years, Respectapole Dance Fitness has helped over 3000 women with their fitness goals while at the same time boosted self-confidence and self-esteem. Respectapole Dance Fitness has grown from a 500 sq ft facility to a 2500 sq ft facility in the past 5 years featuring 2 dance fitness studios inside with 10 employees and instructors.

Kris Davis, is an awesome mom of four and proud wife! The Hampton, Virginia native has always understood the importance of being fit. Kris finally pursued her dreams and calling for fitness in 2012 after being bitten by the Zumba bug. Recognizing a need for personalized motivation in fitness; she became a Zumba Zin and then a Certified Personal Trainer. Since opening her own business iCONQUER,LLC in the Hampton Roads area; she motivates and encourages others to "just start" and "conquer the moment". iCONQUER,LLC; empowers people in search of positive realistic fitness programs. Kris has devoted her business to all levels of fitness. God is her rock and she expresses her gratitude for his gift by blessings others through fitness.

How can you get involved?

SPREAD THE WORD: Follow Pretty Girls Sweat on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! Tell a friend to tell a friend.

TAKE ACTION: Text PRETTYGIRLSSWEAT to 22828 to sign up for our newsletter and get details on all upcoming events!

MENTOR: Empower teen girls through fitness and career mentorship. Email hi@prettygirlssweat.com to request and application.

SPONSOR: Donate space at your fitness studio, a free class, merchandise, healthy snacks, etc. to help us make fitness fun for teen girls. Email hi@prettygirlssweat.com for details on how to become a brand partner.

GIVE BACK: As a for-profit digital media, e-commerce, and event management company, we love the opportunity we have to partner with the Teen Diaries Foundation and other charities that mirror our mission to empower teen girls through fitness. We have raised donations and sponsored our services for local and national charities. Interested in making a tax deductible donation to support free Pretty Girls Sweat programs in inner city communitIes? DONATE HERE!

SHOP: Support our mission to provide free fitness experiences to teen girls across the nation with your purchase at PrettyGirlsSweat.com/shop. A portion of profits are donated to our empowerment programs for teen girls.

Photo Credit: Antoinique Abraham

Making fitness fun since 2011 // PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT founder, Aeshia DeVore Branch, grew tired of the alarming obesity rates plaguing youth and set out to create a highly engaging, socially driven media platform that encourages girls to “make fitness fun” and “sweat with purpose”. Our fitness parties, digital content and inspiring apparel form a “Sweat Sisterhood” uniting women to raise awareness for childhood obesity and give back to under served communities. We’ve been featured on ABC, BET, and Essence as the “fitness destination for girls”, which we think sums us up! Want to join the PGS "Dream Team"? Send resume and cover letter to hi@prettygirlssweat.com. Follow @PrettyGirlSweat on Twitter and follow @PrettyGirlsSweat on Instagram! Join our "Sweat Sisterhood"!