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

As a super active kid growing up in Jersey (yea, she knows), Britt spent her free time participating in sports, dance, theater and generally keeping it moving. A singer and music lover, Britt graduated college with a B.A. in Music with a concentration in Business and a minor in Economics (whew!) and spent seven years as a successful music business professional, specializing in talent management/acquisition, licensing, and music publishing. But her love for staying active and passion for health and wellness remained constant and upon meeting the team at Uplift, it was love at first burpee. She decided to make the transition to fitness to further her fit lifestyle, and that decision was the best she ever made. She's so so so (get the picture?) excited every single day to be part of the inspiring and empowering team at Uplift and is devoted to making the studio a healthy, happy, and fun place to be.

What Uplifts her? All the inspirational, encouraging, and positive women at Uplift – founders, trainers, clients: you all make me warm and fuzzy!

Her guilty pleasure? Levain’s chocolate-chip walnut cookies…or their peanut butter cookies …maybe the chocolate ones though…OK – both...at the same time…

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, 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 Diaz
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. 

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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.