Personal trainer, financial coach, group instructor, influencer, and wellness advocate. She grew up in the Bronx, NY, and went on to play basketball for Christ the King Regional High School in Queens, NY. She then attended New York University, and graduated with a degree in communication sciences, with the goal and passion of connecting with and helping others. Kelly realized this wasn’t her calling, and amidst plenty of disappointment and uncertainty with her future, she landed into fitness after working in an administrative aide role for a gym.
Through her own experiences of being down and out, Kelly has the single goal of helping others seek deeply within themselves to live a life of purpose, and realize their power in their ability to choose the life they envision. She believes success – a never ending journey – is subjective, but the underlying theme is adversity and understanding success comes with not only positive, but negative emotions. But she believes the biggest opportunity for growth and happiness comes from what you choose to do with those negative emotions; we all are valid for feeling the emotions we do, always. But will you choose the comfort of staying the same? Or the challenge, which is worth it big picture, of digging within to heal what triggers you, in order to move forward in a mindset which helps you get back up whenever you fall?
Kelly believes fitness allows you to truly be present, and when you’re present, you’re taking charge of yourself, your life, and your choices, which will help lead to anything you strive for.
The Four Agreements
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Always do your best.
Melissa Ruiz is no stranger to the stage. From community theatre and competitive dance to first runner-up at Miss New Jersey and, most recently, the TEDx stage, Melissa knows the value of connecting with an audience. She has her Master’s in Social Work from Rutgers University and worked in higher education for almost 10 years before transitioning to public speaking. Now, she helps leaders in their fields get over their fear of public speaking to create a bigger impact through her signature online course Show and Tell with Mel. She lives in NYC, loves pizza and her 95-pound dog, Gus.
Melissa believes the US school system did us a disservice. Our first exposure to public speaking was likely Show and Tell in Kindergarten. We went through school with assignments to speak but were never taught things like how to handle nerves, organize content, and what to do with our hands! Then, in college, if you went and if you were interested, maybe there was a public speaking course. And then as adults, we still combat nerves, can’t organize our thoughts, or simply avoid being the center of attention altogether. Melissa created Show and Tell with Mel because there is another way. We can manage our state of mind and understand our nervousness, we can create content that is important to us and our audience, we can connect and engage with our audience and create welcoming communities.
Have an answer to your nightmare question. Most times, if you have fear or self-doubt when it comes to public speaking, it’s because of some made-up story that we are not smart enough to be in the room, to be on the stage. So if there was a question that someone could ask you that would stump you, prepare the answer. What is the worst possible question you could get? Prepare and practice the answer. Chances are it will never happen. But you have given your brain a chance to calm the eff down. There is no need to stress over a highly unlikely situation.
Alaskan born and Brooklyn based, Hannah is a painter and printmaker whose work explores issues around the body and the environment. Through a mix of classical figure painting and illustration, she creates layered narratives packed with personal symbolism inspired by her childhood in Alaska.
Hannah received an MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY in 2017, and a BA in Studio Arts from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR in 2012. Recent exhibitions include: The Other 80 Hours: A NYFA Staff Exhibition at the New York Foundation for the Arts, 2020; Women’s Work, pop-up exhibition, NY, 2019; Beyond Species, pop-up exhibition, NY, 2019; small/Mighty at La Bodega Gallery, NY, 2018; Watch it Burn, Trestle Gallery, NY, 2018. She attended the Vermont Studio Center Residency in September, 2019 and the Trestle Art Space Studio Residency from 2017-2018.
For Artists – If you’re not being accepted to the exhibitions and opportunities you’re applying to, consider creating your own. An important factor of being a professional artist is fostering your network and sharing your work. Don’t let a rejection letter keep you from spending the time you want and need to grow your practice. Consider curating your own pop-up exhibition, creating a critique group, or putting aside a chunk of time for an “at home residency.” At the same time, don’t stop applying. The rejections will get easier, and your applications will get better.