Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle & Dominique Gillyard.
Danielle & Dominique, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
and8 Fitness started as a small virtual class during the pandemic. We taught group fitness for a number of years but had never taught together. For that reason, we thought it would be fun to host a class and get back in touch with our audiences from previous teaching experiences. Since we are originally from NJ, went to college in NC, and split up to live in NY/DC afterwards, that audience was quite large!
From there, we continued to teach classes virtually and eventually posted a short class on YouTube, a Megan thee Stallion-themed mix. That was really when our business took off! It soon went viral, and it has been a whirlwind ever since. We love being able to dance with people all over the world, and connecting with women who feel seen, safe, and sassy through our workouts.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
There have definitely been many challenges along the way for us. Primarily, I’d say that technical issues were the hardest for us. There is SO much that goes into audio, video production, lighting, and live streaming that we were quickly overwhelmed. Luckily, our fitness journey has connected us to many DJs who were able to help us figure things out.
Another issue we faced is that there is so much that goes into a running a business logistically. How people do it on their own, I cannot imagine. My sister and I have really put in the work to go from instructor to owner, but there is a huge learning curve!
I’d say the last struggle is just putting yourself out there. Starting a business can be scary not only because of impostor syndrome, but because you are often sharing your innermost passion with the world and hoping that people connect with it. We have been blessed that people truly have.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
and8 Fitness is a dance-based cardio workout designed to get your heart pumping and your whole body moving. From this 45-minute class, you’ll get fun, sweat-drenching moves, wild energy, and a power playlist. While and8 is designed to give you an intense, full-body workout, it’s also a celebration of our bodies and what they can do.
As a women-owned, black-owned business, our mission is to increase access to wellness for people like us who are often not acknowledged by or reflected in the “mainstream” fitness community. We are driven by our belief that we are enhancing the representation of WOC in fitness and wellness spaces – as well as promoting inclusivity for diverse body types. The ability to create this inclusive community is probably our most cherished accomplishment.
Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
My favorite childhood memory was playing catch with my family in our backyard once. Though that seems like a simple thing, it meant so much to me because my mom has had Multiple Sclerosis since I was in 4th grade. This makes it difficult for her to walk as her joints are often stiff and she frequently loses her balance. Because of this, she did not often play with us if it involved a lot of movement. However, this day, she was able to run around the yard with us. Even though it probably only lasted 5 minutes, I’ll always think fondly of that moment in time.
- We offer in-person classes starting at $15 per person, but also frequently have class-pack deals and a New Client Special.
- Our virtual classes are $7.50, and we also offer bundle offers for those.
- We have subscription content (Livestream and Video on Demand) starting at $19.99 a month.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: and8fitness.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/and8_fitness/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/and8fitness
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgUNRhl07fJownkfzvTAL2w
- Other: https://www.tiktok.com/@and8_fitness