#PGSTURNS10: Inside the Action-Packed Fitness Event of the Year!
September 29, 2021 • By Brianna Arps
What do you get when you join together a decade’s long passion for making fitness fun, accessible and affordable with a group of over 100 women ready to sweat? I’ll tell you! An epic 10th-anniversary celebration for the ultimate Sweat Sisterhood: PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT!
Held on September 25 at The Gathering Spot ATL, PGS led by founder Aeshia DeVore-Branch reunited a diverse troupe of familiar faces — including alum, University Captains, influencers, and SWEATlebrities — alongside several newcomers all excited to experience heart-pumping workouts coupled with the dopest hit songs.
As a first-hand witness to the magic, not to mention a seven-year PGS vet/editorial intern, I’m here to detail exactly what went down. So without further ado, let’s go!
Behind the scenes, the day started with volunteer staff touring and setting up this year’s event space — a premier, members-only club known to bring culture, community, and collaboration to Atlanta, GA’s evolving professional scene.
As guests arrived, interviews with SWEATlebrities track star and 5x Olympic medalist Sanya Richards-Ross, fitness entrepreneur and former Georgia State University Workout Coordinator Mecca Day, and longtime PGS supporter and media personality Rashan Ali were held to uncover more about their remarkable journeys.
As an official welcome, DJ Amber Alert and Ms. Basketball, a.k.a Christina Granville, set #PGSTURNS10’s high-energy tone by getting the crowd pumped while Cicely Kelley of Cool Moms Dance Too led a curated warm-up complete with full-body stretches and breathing exercises.
Next, Ms. Basketball hosted the 4th annual SWEATlebrity Awards Show, in which PGS honored six amazing talents for their dedication towards fitness — plus improving the health and lives of their massive audiences worldwide.
“I met Aeshia about 10 years ago, and the love, passion, and vision she has for this community is absolutely incredible. We’re all here because of you,” Sanya said as she accepted her award. “We all know how important it is to prioritize ourselves. As women, we always do so much — many times, it goes unnoticed. But the most important thing is to really center yourself, and pour into yourself, so that you can pour into everybody else.”
“I’m super honored and thankful that I’m amongst so many inspiring, powerful women right now,” Mecca said before shedding light on a full-circle moment that led her to the stage: “I want whatever is in you all’s minds to do, please just do it. In 2017, I was the PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT workout coordinator at Georgia State. In 2019, I went to my very first PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT Fest, which is a huge-huge event. While there, I told myself that one day I would do ‘Oh My Glutes!’ at PGS Fest — and look where we are now. I’m on the stage!”
After each recipient posed for a photo opp, Aeshia led the infamous PGS SWEAT MAKES CENTS Jumping Jack Challenge! For those unaware, SWEAT MAKES CENTS is PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT’s annual fundraiser and childhood obesity awareness campaign that involves making a 10 cent donation for every jumping jack completed. All donations (which are tax-deductible, by the way!) go towards funding childhood obesity prevention programs nationwide, training female health leaders on college campuses, and awarding student scholarships.
Once the challenge wrapped, volunteer staff passed out exercise sliders in preparation for a full-body, cardio-intensive “Sculpt and Slide” workout guided by Sadia Yansaneh of SimplyTone Fitness.
Mecca’s signature “Oh My Glutes!” lower-body workout followed, with participants using resistance bands to help strengthen their glutes, thighs, and midsections.
Then, everyone in attendance gathered to reflect on 10 incredible years of PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT with a congratulatory champagne toast complete with light bites from the venue.
“Today’s toast is a special one because we’re dedicating this toast to 10 years of making fitness fun,” Aeshia said while addressing those in attendance. “And for uniting women through fitness as well as fellowshipping through fitness. Let’s raise a glass to these three words: PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT!”
Keeping the inspiration coming, motivational speaker and fitness enthusiast Jessica Laine conducted a powerful panel discussion with PGS SWEATlebribties and honorees about all things mental, emotional, and physical wellness.
“My audience motivates me so much because they’ll tell me what they’re going through — not knowing that I might be going through the same thing,” Keiara explained. “I created this amazing community, and with that, every day, I want to give them inspiration and motivation. Telling them to follow their passions and to never give up, even when people try to scare you. That’s what helps me to get up and get active when I don’t feel like it.”
“Fitness came to me by accident. It took a lot from when I was a young girl to actually be proud of what I look like,” Veronica shared. As a prominent influencer who uses her platform to offer routine advice, she understands how success with exercise and in general can seem far-fetched: “When you read and watch people talk about their successes, it’s often hard to figure out how to apply that to your life. But I think finding the ‘thing’ that makes you who you are starts with doing what you love every day and doing what speaks to your heart.”
“I didn’t get on social media with the intention of forming a brand,” Halani said while discussing how she started her activewear line BodyNV. “But what helped me to go for it, was that other people saw [a brand] in me. When somebody who knew nothing about me saw something from afar, I knew I had to see how it would go — I just went for it.” Since starting BodyNV back in 2019, Halani has been able to retire 12 years early from the fire service as a former battalion chief.
To close out, guests took a stroll down the PGS Confidence Catwalk and were reminded to never let anyone dim their light before grabbing goody bags filled with a custom Born Primitive x PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT sports bras, FBF Body leggings, and more fitness essentials!
Watch what more Sweat Sisters had to say about PGSTURNS10! Plus see more photos.
PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT would like to thank each and every one of its #PGSTURNS10 attendees for showing out — as well as sponsors FBF Body and Lucky Lotus for supporting the cause.