How hip-hop-inspired fitness studio made moves during pandemic

Trillfit founder and CEO Heather White and head instructor Melisa Valdez talk about shifting classes online when COVID-19 shutdown in-person classes.
6:11 | 01/14/21

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Transcript for How hip-hop-inspired fitness studio made moves during pandemic
open for business series. For nearly a year we've been highlighting small businesses who are making it work. They are making it work during these challenging times. This morning, we are introducing you to industrialfit. A hip-hop inspired fitness studio who made the shift to online workouts which are luge right now and are not missing a beat. Trillfit in Boston prides itself on being an all inclusive come as you are space. I love the music, the vibes, the energy. Trillfit is the only gym I've been to where I could come as myself. People of all age, race, shapes, sizes, sexual orientations. Reporter: But in March of 2020 trillfit founder Heather white closed her studio before any mandated covid-19 shutdown and refused to put her vulnerable clientele at risk. We you knew covid would impact black and brown people. For us public health and wellness are one in the same. Reporter: The fitness industry took a huge hit last year, according to the international health racket and sports club association, the industry lost nearly $14 billion in revenue since the pandemic began and an estimated 1/4 of the country's 40,000 fitness facilities could permanently close without financial relief but Heather and her team got to work on turning it into a digital experience. Are you ready to dance? Reporter: Quickly reaching 42 different cities, 22 different states and several countries. And for the first six months of the pandemic all classes were free of charge. Heather was committed to keeping triiifitters together. For over six months during a pandemic when your business is closed is risky but we're lucky the community stayed behind us. It was their place. They will not let us fail. And now it is time to meet the woman behind trillfit, a gym that has become a movement. Founder and CEO, you saw her, Heather white, joining us now. Welcome, Heather. Good to have you live on "Good morning America." Thank you so much, robin. It feels so good to be here. Oh, my goodness. I'll tell you guys were having the year. It was your best year and then the pandemic hits and even before it was the mandate you closed the gym even before you were told to do so. How difficult of a decision was that and to keep the business going? How did you do it? How did you do it? It was so hard, robin, to just tell you honestly, we were on 50 straight days of sold out class and felt better than I ever had and our team felt incredible but given the people we serve predominantly black and brown people, we knew their health was way more important so with that said we had to make the decision to close as challenging as it was. We didn't know how serious coronavirus would become. But now looking back on it we absolutely made the right decision and the community is still standing behind us every single day today and so happy and proud to be here and to still be in business,uite frankly. You know, you got Michael Strahan's attention. He is a businessman in addition to everything and when he heard you say free, free and then -- I mean, that was risky. Good for you. First of all, Michael, any time you want to come to Boston, you come to a class, my pleasure to host you. All right. If I can keep up, I'll try it. Heather is a smart woman. And so is Melissa. We'll meet another member of the family. Melissa's director of product and the gym's lead instructor. And hi there. Oh, looking good. I like what you're wearing there. So you -- Hi, robin. Hi, good morning. Good morning. To go from in person when you can see who you're working with to online, how did you make that adjustment to keep people motivated. Definitely, robin. Trillfit is more than a workout, a community and everybody belongs whether online or in person we greet everybody by their names and get in their business and build relationships and set out together and always set intentions just to bring up that positive energy. Our clients know that we are all a team and a community and we support them and have their backs throughout the entire class from start to finish so we're in this together and keeping this emmotivated and inspired. They've got your back and you've got their back. Such a team and family, Heather and Melissa, let me tell you, are you going to do a demo? We have some of the family when they went online and saw each other they were so excited to see one another. This will be one of your signature hip-hop classes, so take it away. Let us see what you got. All right. Let's do it, team. All right, y'all, let's start by taking one deep breath and inhaling all the positive energy, release any negativity on four. Three, two, one. Walk it up. This is our groove. Bring it back, take it forward. Bring it back. High knees, one, two, three, four. Chest pump, two, three, four. Lift one, two, three four. Chest pump, two, three, four. Jump jack, shake, shake, shake. Jump, jump. Aiming at your head Wow, robin. Jump, jump. Nice job, team. Give me a squat. Footwork and one, two, three, four and hit. Where the love go And hit. Here we go. Take it low. Knees to elbows, take it low. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all. I got out of my chair? We appreciate the movement you have going on and how you are open for business and doing your thing. I love they got the kids involved. You saw that, fantastic. Ginger, what do you have for

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