If you’re an admirer of online workout videos, you probably have heard of Keaira Lashae. Before I interviewed her this week about her journey from singer and dancer to choreographer and successful hip-hop tabata instructor, I had done a few of her videos in the past. Most recently, I twerked and squatted through some offerings while in my third trimester during the pandemic, trying to stay active because I knew I needed to. Now, the dance and fitness instructor is pregnant, expecting her third child, but that hasn’t stopped her from churning out sweat-inducing videos on her site If You Can Move and making a killing over these chaotic months, bump in tow.
“It has grown tremendously and so has my business, period. My waist snatchers, my booty bands, everything has just grown so much because people are at home,” she told me over the phone. “My business blew up from there. I’ve always been doing this but I really got a chance to shine while people were at home. It’s grown tremendously and it’s still growing.”
She’s not kidding. Lashae’s latest offering for fans is a 30-day Trap N Tone Challenge ($59.99, still open and starting this Sunday!) where people can tone up their bodies to hip-hop and trap music. Those who have the most success getting fit doing the challenge can walk away with $10,000. Her last challenge, she gave away $7,500 to three top performers.
“I wanna give some people incentives!” she said.
We talked to Lashae about launching her own platform after years of instructing for other big sites, taking her time to snap back after her third baby is born as she did with her first two, and why her short workouts are burning crazy calories and gaining a boatload of fans, followers, and in turn, funds.
MadameNoire: I’m sure you worked yourself hard to get back into shape. When you find out you’re pregnant a second and third time, were you ever like, “Oh lawd” [laughs] because you know the work it will take to get back to looking and feeling like yourself?
Keaira Lashae: Honestly it is a lot of work. But I will say what’s really dope is you have to think about as women, our bodies are going to change when we bring life into the world. That’s just it. To be able to do that is a blessing in itself so I think about it like that. Yes, it’s hard to get back in shape. I told my husband, “You’re setting me up.” [laughs] But at the same time, I took it one day at a time. I look at my beautiful little blessings that I’ve got running around and I’m like, “It’s good. It’s all good.” I can do the work. I know my discipline and I know that you’ve got to take your time. A lot of people thought my “snapback” was fast. To me it wasn’t fast because I literally took my time. I didn’t hurt myself trying to hurry to get back in shape. It took my body nine months to create life so when you think about it like that, you’ve got to put everything into perspective. You gotta understand, yeah you might have a little gut, but you worked for that gut. You had a whole human come out of it. You’re superhuman!
We see so much of people on social media with the “snapback,” but not everybody’s gonna get it that fast. Not everybody’s doing it safely. Some people are hemorrhaging trying to impress people they don’t even know. Take your time! Be with that baby. Heal yourself.
How did you get your start in the fitness realm as someone who was singing, doing music first? And how did your musical background play into you creating hip-hop tabata?
Fitness has always been a part of my life. Well, dance. Dance has always been a part of my life, especially as a performer, as a singer. I’ve danced since I was seven. People used to ask me, and they still do, “How do you stay in shape?” I’m dancing all of the time. I’m at rehearsals. I’ve got shows and stuff so I’m dancing constantly and that’s what keeps me in shape. So I decided to share that with people and it became really popular.
As far as creating hip-hop tabata, I just wanted to do something that was quick and effective. People don’t always have time to work out for an hour. I remember going to the gym with my husband and sometimes his workouts were like an hour and a half and I’m like, “Yo! I’m dying here. I’m bored and I can’t. Do we have to be in here for an hour and a half to get results?” No. So I decided to put together what I loved and make it quick and effective for people. I just wanted to make it seem like we were in the club with your homegirls. It’s like a night out on the dance floor. When I get off the dance floor I’m sweaty, so that’s how I want it to feel when you work out with me.
What prompted you to take your dance series MOVE from the platform Daily Burn, as well as your fitness videos for Popsugar, and eventually create your own platform, If You Can Move, to provide those services?
I’m the one that convinced Daily Burn to do a dance series. Again, I’ve always been a dancer. I was like, “Let me give y’all a series of what I think will do really well with people.” They didn’t want to at first. They were like, “Dance is stupid.” [laughs] I was like, are you serious? I said, “Give me a chance.” My series ended up being the number one series on Daily Burn. So I actually convinced them. What made me transition into my own thing is because I know my vision. I had a bigger vision for what I wanted to see in an online gym. I just have a bigger dream for it. I have a bigger goal for it. It’s more to me than just getting people in. It’s about creating a wonderful community and doing it on my own terms.
As someone pregnant with your third child, how do you find the energy to keep doing your videos and exercising?
Honestly, sometimes I don’t have the energy because I’m making a baby. But I think there’s natural energy that I have because I know how many people I motivate every day. That’s what helps me to get up. I’m not even going to lie to you. Sometimes I’m like, “You know what? They’ve got plenty of workouts from me already [laughs].” I don’t always have the energy. Because of that I created an energy supplement, an all-natural energy supplement, because I know that people drag throughout the day and they really don’t want to. It’s not out yet, but it will drop on Black Friday. I wanted to create something to help people kind of mimic my same energy. I don’t always have it, but when I do, I try to go in for my people [laughs].
Until your energy supplement drops, what moves would you recommend for moms-to-be who want to be active but struggle with the videos and more complicated workouts?
I always suggest my Walk It Out DVD program or download. It’s just a 10-minute, 20-minute and a 30-minute walking video. It’s low-impact but high energy. You still get a good workout without harming yourself. I also created MILF Moves, which is another prenatal program. It has about seven workouts on it, including dance, kickboxing, walking, yoga, meditation and affirmation for the baby and mommy.
We can still have fun. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you have to be a bump on a log. Squats are really good for delivery. Squatting, twerking, any kind of squat moving is great as long as it doesn’t hurt your hips.
What is it about hip-hop tabata, which is a form of HIIT training, that you love so much and why would you recommend it for others?
What I love about it is the fact that, like I said before, it’s quick and effective. It’s maximum effort in a short amount of time for maximum results. And then the fact that I make it fun. It’s 20 minutes. It’s a small, tiny, tiny, minuscule percentage of your day. You don’t have to put aside too much time. You can sweat like crazy. In my dance tabata challenge, the first week of the videos were 12 minutes. Before they pressed play, I had people like, this is only 12 minutes. I said, “Okay. Do it and then come back and let me know what you think.” They were dripping sweat as if they were in the gym for an hour. It’s super effective. The way I set it up, you’re working parts of your body, muscles you didn’t even know you had. You get some strength training in there by doing some type of calisthenics, because dance is a form of calisthenics. You also get endurance work and stamina so there are so many benefits to the tabata way of training. I just make it even more fun.