Imagine how excited and empowered you would feel if suddenly you were one amongst a sea of individuals all brought together by the same mission, which is to make fitness fun. That was the exact best-case scenario for nearly 700 women who traveled near and far on Sept. 15 to celebrate the ultimate Sweat Sisterhood festival aka PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT fest. For the second year in a row, founder and CEO of PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT (PGS), Aeshia DeVore Branch, brought the city of Atlanta a fun-filled day of contests, live performances, and heart-pumping fitness experiences — each memorable in their own 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 a pink tee to wear and help unify their experience. Music was blasting throughout the event space thanks to DJ Gorjess, DJ Dollae, and DJ Milhouse.
(Pictured Above: DJ Dollae)
(Pictured Above: DJ Milhouse)
While Sweat Sisters poured inside, Lauren Smith guided groups through a series of stretches to prep their bodies for the high-impact activities to follow.
(Pictured Above: Lauren Smith)
The festival officially kicked off with an opening ceremony conducted by Rashan Ali. Aeshia DeVore Branch and her children were also brought on stage to welcome everyone in attendance.
Shortly after opening remarks, a team of teens from the award-winning studio Dance 411 hit the stage to perform the PGS signature "Pretty Girl Rock" cardio dance workout they choreographed.
(Pictured Above: Dance 411)
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, and each jumping jack raised $0.10 for the SWEAT MAKES CENTS jumping jack challenge. The Kevin Durant Foundation generously donated $7,000 to support the challenge as well as help fund crucial, childhood obesity prevention programs nationwide.
Next, the SWEATLEBRITY Award Show recognized Jeanette Jenkins, Riley Burruss, Lana and Ellen Ector, Elise Neal, and Lita Lewis 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. Boxing legend Laila Ali was unable to accept her award in person but showed her appreciation through a thoughtful video on Instagram.
After the presentation of awards, Sweat Sisters were introduced to the day's designated co-captains (You can learn more about them HERE!) and broke out into seven, color-coded teams.
(Pictured Above: Zakia Blain)
Jaimee Ratliff led the first fitness session, an innovative hip-hop yoga class.
(Pictured Above: Jaimee Ratliff)
Lauren Powers and Tosha McDade followed up with an intense sisterhood strength training boot camp.
Keaira Lashae kept the energy pulsing without a moment to spare during her "Get Lit!" dance party.
(Pictured Above: Keaira Lashae)
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, and a "vendor village" for shopping. Other outdoor fitness activations included Double Dutch Aerobics, a "survival of the prettiest" obstacle course, a "goal digger" basketball shootout, and pop-up cycling classes led by The Vibe Ride.
Resha Blivens of Beautycounter helped Sweat Sisters rejuvenate their skin, both KIND Snacks and Hint Water were within reach to refuel, and temporary tattoos were on site to rep the PGS Sweat Sisterhood with pride.
(Pictured Above: Kamilah Williams)
Once guests refreshed, Dr. Crystal Jones closed out the fitness portion of the day with "creative active meditation," which encouraged participants to practice mindfulness and find inner peace.
(Pictured Above: Dr. Crystal Jones)
Some of our SWEATlebrities and special guests hit the stage shortly afterward to participate in a panel about their lives as health leaders.
(From Left to Right: Lita Lewis, Bo Talley, Laeann Amos-Reed, Nicole Centeno, Laenn Amos-Reed's mother Veronica Corker.
Once the panel wrapped, attendees were sent off in fashion as they exited the main workout room by strutting their stuff down a “confidence catwalk.”
They were then able to grab a gift bag and mingle outside before heading home. VIP guests, including Bo Talley, The Glam Twinz, Syleena Johnson and Tiffany Evans were also able to enjoy post-workout massages provided by Motion Stretch Studio, meals prepared by Fresh To Order, and MYX Fusions in the "champs garden."
(Pictured Above: Tiffany Evans)
One Sweat Sister, Rosalyn (@bellarozzay), summed up her experience at our fitness festival by saying: "#PGSFEST was literally magic, a day full of beautiful women loving on each other, sharing lifestyle tips, sweating out the week’s stress, [and] most importantly — just being. The positive energy was communal. There was no competition and no judgment, but rather connection and mutual empowerment from attendees. I’m thankful that I followed God’s voice and didn’t allow my social anxiety to win the day."
Kandi Burruss, a Grammy award-winning singer and the mother of our SWEATlebrity award recipient Riley Burruss, said on Twitter: "Thank you @prettygirlssweat for honoring my baby girl @rileyburruss she's worked really hard on her fitness goals in the past year and moments like this motivates her to keep going!"
(videos shot and edited by: B. Alyssa Trofort)
The 2018 PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT fest was sponsored by The Kevin Durant Foundation, KIND Snacks, Shea Moisture, Hint Water, JetBlue, Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment, and the City of Atlanta, Office of Cultural Affairs.
A huge thank you to all of the volunteers, event staff, and vendors who partnered with us to make this year's PGSF 2018 happen: