“I hit the ground running and I’ve literally been sprinting ever since,” says the 25-year-old rising star of New York City’s group fitness scene, who got her first gig just over a year ago and is now a beloved instructor at top studios like BFX, Brooklyn Bodyburn, and The Dogpound.
It helps that she’s a born (and trained) performer, a fact that is apparent as soon as she clips on a microphone and starts warming everyone up to the beat (before the killer burpees come in), and her years teaching music therapy infuse her instruction with careful cues and empathy.
“My passion in life is just to teach and to inspire,” she says. Here’s the crazy path she took to realize that passion, how she’s making it happen now, and how WellWell is helping power her beyond-active routine.
The short but winding road
“My high school had Drive Your Tractor to School Day. Yeah, that’s a real thing. People took tractors to prom,” Vesco says, to explain how tiny the town she grew up in outside of Columbus, Ohio truly was. She’s the oldest of six girls, all of whom were athletes, but she later switched her focus from basketball and volleyball to singing. She auditioned for AMDA (the American Musical and Dramatic Academy) in New York City and when she got in, moved to the Big Apple at 18.
After graduating in two years (and turning down an offer to play Pocahontas in Tokyo, naturally), she made a friend who worked for the nonprofit United Cerebral Palsy of New York City. “They didn’t have any kind of music or arts program, and she asked, ‘would you want to come in and start something?’” So Vesco developed and taught music therapy programs for three years before feeling drained by the work. “You get in it because you want to change the world and people are not on the same page as you,” she remembers.
Working at Lululemon introduced her to the city’s group fitness scene for the first time, and sparks went off. “It was like I woke up and thought ‘I’m going to be a trainer. This is going to be such an easy switch. I’m still going to be able to love people and support people and teach them and inspire them, I’m just not going to be teaching music, I’m going to be teaching working out.’”
It’s all happening
Shortly after getting certified as a trainer, a friend in the industry got Vesco an audition at BFX. “I walked into the audition thinking okay, they’re going to tell me they’ll hire me at New York Sports Club [which is owned by the same parent company]. Instead, they were like ‘we have to have you, it’s done, you’re on, you’re in.’” She started teaching strength training and interval classes there in January 2015, quickly developed a following, and then got recruited to teach at Brooklyn Bodyburn a year later. After teaching there for two weeks, she again got tapped, this time to help open The Dogpound’s new studio (which happens to be a favorite of a few celebrities).
“I teach HIIT, strength training, boxing, and Megaformer Pilates. My brain is so full of information right now it’s crazy. But making the switch to the other studios just showed me that I have a following of clients, and that’s not something I thought about,” she says. “I always want to be that trainer that you can be best friends with.”
“We’re just working out, you guys,
it’s not that serious.”
Making magic (and muscles)
That’s one reason people love Vesco’s teaching style, among others. “My classes are really hard, and I’m a bit of a drill sergeant, but I’m also like..’I love you! We’re going to do a thousand burpees, but we’re going to have so much fun together!’ I think that being the oldest of so many girls, I’ve always kind of been the mom and the glue that holds everything together. The push, with the love, is a huge thing that as trainers we try to find balance on.”
Plus, every class is a stage. “I’m very outgoing and have a ton of energy all the time. Coming from a theatre background, I have no problem being a ham and laughing at myself and dancing around. I’m just silly. We’re just working out, you guys, it’s not that serious.”
Of course, when you’re teaching 20 to 25 classes a week and regularly working out at Tone House (arguably the hardest group fitness class in NYC), the toll on your body is one thing that is serious. “I go to Tone House a lot. The first time I ever met Sagan, WellWell’s CEO, was there. He was drinking it, and I could smell it. I LOVE watermelon. I drank it, and I fell in love with it, and that’s a wrap.”
Vesco also sees a DPT, Dan Giordano, regularly, and is constantly foam rolling and hydrating. “Honestly, I just try to drink an obscene amount of water.”