Isaac Boots: Giving Back To Seven Hamptons Charities With Torch’d

Isaac Calpito (aka Isaac Boots) — fitness sensation, celebrity trainer, and Sag Harbor resident — raised over $1 million for No Kid Hungry during the Covid-19 pandemic by offering virtual classes on his Instagram and urging viewers to donate. His social media dance challenge #DanceAndDonateChallenge also helped and continues to help support nurses and frontline hospital workers. His clients include names like Kelly Ripa, Lisa Rinna, Vanessa Hudgens, and Jessica Chastain, among others.

This summer Isaac is hosting his class “Torch’d Live! From The Hamptons” at the Children’s Museum of the East End. Through these classes he will donate to seven local charities that help children.

He’s also increasing the amount he’s contributing to the charities by creating the Torch’d Shoppe in Wainscott. Torch’d Shoppe offers products ranging from beverages to jewelry to apparel to skincare — with brands that include Fred Segal, Ana Katarina, and more.

We caught up with Isaac to learn more.

Photo by Tyler Brunks

How did you get your start as a fitness trainer?

Torch’d was born on the Broadway stage when I was dancing in West Side Story at the Palace Theatre. I was working long hours and didn’t have time to go to the gym, and I needed something I could do anywhere with little to no equipment. I would do Torch’d on the stage with my little boombox blasting Madonna and slowly but surely the rest of the cast would join me. From there I started working with actors and actresses and choreographing music videos and tours for pop stars all while training them with my method. So it grew organically and felt like a natural progression.

Talk a little about how you built your huge celebrity following. What were some defining moments in your career?

I have been very lucky to have many special moments throughout my career from staging live performances at the American Music Awards and Billboard Awards to performing with Liza Minnelli at the Tonys to dancing with Madonna on live tv with Kelly Ripa to attending the Oscars with my longtime friend and client Faye Dunaway and staging a concert at the White House for the Obama’s; but I think the past year, building this global community and raising over $1.2 million dollars to help with food insecurity amongst our nation’s youth is the most rewarding. Seeing everyone connecting from all walks of life; celebrities, frontline workers, mothers, fathers, grandparents, kids, everyday people sharing inside jokes and shouting each other out on my Instagram Lives everyday has really been a humbling experience.

During the pandemic you offered your classes for free virtually and asked followers to donate to No Kid Hungry. Doing this raised over $1 million. Why is this foundation close to your heart?

I grew up on food stamps. I understand how it feels to be a kid and feel a sense of helplessness. All the blessings I have mean nothing if I forget the little boy I once was. If there is anything I can do to make a difference in someone’s life, it’s my responsibility to honor that.

Photo by Kristin Gray Photography

Tell us about your social media dance challenge #DanceAndDonateChallenge to support nurses and frontline hospital workers:

I was getting DM’s from nurses thanking me for the daily workouts and sharing stories about the mental strain and burn out they were experiencing from the past year dealing with Covid. I reached out to NYU Langone and learned that there is a mental health crisis across the nation and the world with our nurses and frontline healthcare workers. Harrowing experiences like having to hold up a phone while someone said goodbye to their family member for the last time, or not being able to see their families because someone in their family had a compromised immune system, not sleeping for days on end and on and on.

It became clear to me that after fighting the war against Covid, they needed programs and support to help them process all of this trauma. I wanted to do something that was fun and uplifting to inspire people to get involved, learn and also show appreciation. Who hasn’t been the recipient of the love and care of a nurse?

My friend Steph Amoroso wrote a fabulously infectious and celebratory pop song called ‘Electric Light’ about the Torch’d community and it has become our anthem. Partnering with NYU Langone as a proud New Yorker to develop a blueprint of these wellness programs to share with other hospitals nationally and even globally has been thrilling. I love seeing people dance and just be festive. Dancing is a part of my DNA.

What can first-timers expect from a Torch’d class?

As my Boots Babies (affectionate term my community calls themselves) say, “Torch’d is Hard,” but my philosophy is do a little bit every day. Show up EVERY DAY, do what you can and you will see that the more you do it the stronger you get. Equally important is that we are inclusive and have fun. I can’t be self conscious and stoic; I find it laughable and embarrassing to take yourself too seriously. It is the death of an artist when they believe their own hype. I love connecting with people everyday and having a laugh and a “splash” while keeping our peaches tight and lifted.

The Torch’d Shoppe by Isaac Boots opening party on June 26. Photo by Kristin Gray Photography

Talk a little about your experience as a Broadway dancer:

I was really fortunate to be in commercially successful shows like Mamma Mia and West Side Story that ran for a long time. I performed on Broadway for nearly ten years with no break, which is very lucky because a lot of shows come and go. The threat of unemployment is always lingering as a Broadway dancer. But it took a lot of guts and hard work to get there. Growing up as a poor little Hawaiian gay boy with no connection to show business, no money to even have formal training, I knew I had to be focused, driven and passionate to get to New York and realize my dreams. I didn’t follow the rules — I never have. I snuck into auditions, didn’t have an agent, couldn’t afford headshots, had no resume, but I had blind ambition. Broadway is a very special community — one could even call it a family of misfits and eccentric characters. I made some amazing life-long friends there and ultimately the determination and discipline I put in there led me to here. If I didn’t get booked in the original cast of West Side Story and had no time to go to the gym, Torch’d might never have come to fruition.

What brought you to the Hamptons this summer? How did the partnership with CMEE come about?

I have been coming to the Hamptons for years, training clients and after raising so much money for hungry kids the Children’s Museum felt like a natural fit. I always want to align myself with brands, people, institutions that share my same ethos of truly giving back. CMEE is an iconic Hamptons venue that supports seven local charities that take care of underprivileged kids local to Long Island, so it was a no brainer. To be able to do what I love in the beautiful amphitheatre at CMEE knowing money is going to help support kids and families is a blessing and I am so excited!

The Torch’d Shoppe by Isaac Boots opening party on June 26. Photo by Kristin Gray Photography

What are some of the local charities you’ll be supporting with your classes?

The seven organizations were selected because they collectively serve a range of age groups from infants through teenagers from across the five East End Townships. The pandemic has required the organizations to expand their missions and initiate a variety of COVID response efforts.

Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center runs a food pantry for over 700 people, as well as continuing all their thriving programs for after-school, teens, college prep, and a new workforce training program.

CMEE operates a food pantry for 75+ families each week, as well as bilingual support groups and educational programs for at-risk children and families.

Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center runs a weekly food pantry for 50 families, and has added extra classrooms and staffing to address the increased demand for childcare among essential workers.

i-tri provides a touch point for vulnerable families in the community, providing mental, emotional and physical training for adolescent girls along with other outreach programs such as art therapy and mentoring circles.

Project MOST offers an array of programs for students in pre-k through grade 8 including full day remote learning support, after school, summer learning and small group weekend workshops. Program hours are designed to match the hours when families are working.

The Retreat provides comprehensive services, including shelter and counseling to children impacted by violence and abuse, as well as violence prevention education to grades 3 to 12. It is also assisting nonresident clients with food, transportation, and medication during the pandemic.

Southampton Youth Association provides recreational programming in small, intimate groups and on Zoom that develops their character, while maintaining distance and safety. In addition, it is offering scholarships to students for high quality SAT prep and is providing financial support for families to buy groceries.

The Torch’d Shoppe by Isaac Boots opening party on June 26. Photo by Kristin Gray Photography

What’s next for Isaac Boots?

I am really excited to be launching the Torch’d Shoppe by Isaac Boots on July 1. My first proper storefront! Right on 27 in Wainscott. It will be a lifestyle venue, bringing together my favorite brands that align with my values. Everyone from Fred Segal to Rinna Beauty by my dear friend and longtime supporter Lisa Rinna to Terez by Zara Tisch to Terry O’Neill Estate to Brian Atwood to some major artists that I can’t wait to share with you. I wanted to create a space that embodies all the things I love from my own Torch’d apparel to skincare, jewelry, art, fashion, and workout gear.

For more information, visit

Jessica Mackin-Cipro


Jessica Mackin-Cipro is an editor and writer from the East End of Long Island. She has won numerous NYPA and PCLI awards for journalism and social media. She was previously the Executive Editor of The Independent Newspaper.

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