Our Management


Leanne Shear
Co-Founder & President

Before conceiving the idea for and co-founding Uplift, Leanne graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania and received a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies and Cultural Politics from New York University, and was a professional writer for most of her career: she is the author of The Perfect Manhattan and Cocktail Therapy: The Perfect Prescription for Life’s Many Crises, and her writing has also been featured in The Nation, The New York Times, New York, Glamour, and Men’s Health, among others.  Leanne always knew the seeds of a female society were growing inside her: many years ago, after a big breakup, she started a Happy Hour group for like-minded women called SWIGs (Singular Women Infused with Greatness). To this day, she is always available with a word of wisdom (or a glass of wine) for her friends and clients in their times of need!

What Uplifts her? While I love the physical aspects of being a trainer, reading and writing Uplift me a LOT. I am a big nerd at heart!

Her guilty pleasure? I am not a sweets person and never really crave dessert but I cannot turn down potatoe skins or mozzarella sticks. Ever.

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Britt Gage
Vice President

Britt has led the charge at Uplift from her role as Studio Manager to current role as VP over the past three years. Prior to her career in the wellness space, she spent seven years working at start-ups in the entertainment industry with a focus on intrapreneurship, optimizing business processes and building strategic partnerships. She's inspired by Uplift's mission to empower and inspire women in all facets of their lives, and is honored to lead a strong team of compassionate and innovative of female thought-leaders.
What Uplifts her? I'm Uplift-ed by the incredible community of women we celebrate.  
Her guilty pleasure? Levain’s chocolate-chip walnut cookies.

Kat Ellis
Head Instructor

 A Virginia native, Kat moved to NYC to pursue a performance career in contemporary dance. In the midst of pursuing her passion and working with different dance companies, she stumbled into Uplift Studios and instantly fell in love with the community of fierce women. Whether it's pushing a client to reach her goal or counting down a burpee to a killer beat drop, Kat's thrilled she has a place where she gets to combine her loves at once. 

Certifications:  NASM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor, ACE Sports Conditioning Specialist, Pre/Post-Natal Certified, Element Body Alignment System (EBAS) Certified, Kettlebell Athletics Level 1 Certified, B.F.A in Dance and Choreography

What Uplifts her? Music! From Justin Timberlake to Disclosure to Coolio, I love it all, and nothing is more uplifting that an amazing beat that makes me what to get up and dance.

Her guilty pleasure? I'm a total chick. Eating dark chocolate, drinking a glass of wine, and watching a really juicy TV show on Netflix like Scandal or Homeland.


Ilana Hernandez
Studio Manager 

Ilana moved to New York six years ago from sunny Florida, her favorite place in the world. She graduated from LIM College with her Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing. After working in fashion PR, Ilana took her life into her own hands to pursue her calling of helping others. As she was discovering a new passion for fitness, she found Uplift Studios and fell in love with the female society. Now you can find Ilana shimmying behind the desk and Uplifting everyone's studio experience! 

What Uplifts her? Warm weather, following your dreams and a good'ole dance partaayy! 

Her guilty pleasure? Momofuku crack pie and Grays Anatomy. 


Ivana Bolf
Operations Coordinator

Ivana spent more than seven years in the hospitality industry, focused on sales and marketing for some of the top boutique hotels in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Even though fitness had always been a regular part of her lifestyle (one of her first experiences working with a personal trainer was actually at Uplift Studios back in 2012!), she knew that she was meant to be a part of the bigger movement: one that empowers women to increase their mental, emotional, and physical prowess through strength training.  As of July 2017, Ivana took the leap into the world of wellness and health and hasn’t looked back! She is beyond thrilled to bring her passion for fitness and operations to the community where her journey started. She truly believes that the possibilities for Uplift's female society are endless. 

What Uplifts her? Surrounding myself with people who encourage me to be better person and never settle for the mediocre. 

Her guilty pleasure? Sour apple ANYTHING. 


Alyssa Exposito
Community Manager
Instructor (Strength, Power), Certified Athletic Trainer, NASM Personal Trainer, CPR/AED Certified, M.A in Exercise Physiology

As a Miami native, Alyssa is packed with sweet and sass. Her competitive spirit fueled her passion for being physically active. Known to be “the girl the boys wanted to beat” Alyssa was a tomboy at heart who always preferred sneakers and shorts to dresses and bows. With energy to burn, Alyssa always felt the need to compensate for her small stature and frame. In doing so, she traded in the violin to run competitively in high school and continued to compete at the University of Miami. After a traumatic injury, Alyssa put down her running shoes (for a bit) and harnessed her energy and passion of physical fitness to injury prevention and treatment. Completing her Bachelor’s degree in Athletic training at the University of Miami, she gained a new appreciation for the body’s ability to recover/heal and its capability for movement. A seeker of knowledge, Alyssa moved to New York to continue her education in the field of exercise physiology at Teachers College Columbia University. Here is where her love of fitness regained its fire and became a certified personal trainer. Fusing her athletic training background and love of strength and conditioning, her training style allows clients to become aware of their bodies, gain control of their movements, while increasing strength and mobility. A life enthusiast, adventure seeker, and an advocate of mindfulness, Alyssa wants to inspire her clients to live with grit & grace.

What Uplifts her? So many things! But if I can narrow it down to three it would be: A great book, a long meditation, and pictures of my niece and nephew!

Her guilty pleasure? I’m not alone in this but- Binge watching on Netflix until the pop-up “Continue watching…?” will appear (my couch potato game can be VERY strong). Very guilty pleasure: I will finish that bag of chips accompanied with salsa. Sorry I’m not sorry.

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Cassie Gilling
Assistant Studio Manager/Philanthropy Coordinator

Cassie is still a bit of a newbie to New York City. Hailing from Massachusetts, Cassie moved to New York City this fall after graduating from Boston University's School of Theatre with a BFA in Acting. She became interested in Uplift after reading the mission statement of the brand and falling in love with it's vow to create a powerful and safe space for women in New York City! Growing up with two older brothers to catch up to, Cassie was always running around. While she can't remember a sport that she hasn't at least tried for a season, she focused on lacrosse, field hockey, and swimming. She is excited to join the amazing team that Uplift has and cannot wait to see what experiences stretch her physically, emotionally, and mentally in this new chapter!

What Uplifts her? Being around motivated, kind, and FUNNY women.  

Her guilty pleasure? Oh, chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Absolutely.