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March 13, 2018

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©2018  Keli Simlesa. All Rights Reserved

meet keli

THIS IS ME

I was born is Sao Paulo Brazil and am the second youngest of 5 girls. My mom was loving hardworking woman and my dad was an abusive alcoholic who brought a lot of hurt and destruction to our family. My mom past away at the hands of my father when I was five years old and I, along with two sisters were put up for adoption shortly after. My two older sisters remained with my family while we lived in an orphanage for 2 years. We were adopted when I was 7 years old and brought to the states. I was resilient and assimilated well to my new family, new culture and new life. Of course there were some bumps along the way and I struggled with identity, fear, self-doubt and loneliness but I can't complain because I was very blessed to have been given another chance at life. 
 

From the time I was young, I knew that I wanted to do something that was going to make a difference in this world but I wasn't quite sure how. I was in my third year at PSU when I took a senior capstone working with African Children. That experience changed my life. I was surrounded by young refugees that went through incredible hardships in their lives and yet never seemed to lose their cultural pride and that inspired my to go back to Brazil. I learned how to dance samba, salsa and other forms of Latin dances and fell in love. I returned to Brazil after 20 years to volunteer at an orphanage as a way of giving back and of course hoping to locate my biological family. It's only through the grace of God that a social worker was able to track my family in a city of 30 million people and we were once again reunited. I came back rejuvenated and with a whole new outlook on life. I had already been working at a corporate job prior to that trip and realized that life is too short to be miserable. I wasn't passionate about what I was doing and it didn't fulfill my soul so I did something about it.


I first came to Diva Den Studio in May of 2009 looking for a fun place to workout. I didn't want to run on a treadmill or wander aimlessly in a gym without direction, I wanted to attend fun classes that would give me great workout. Not only did I find what I was looking for, but I found my calling! I never wanted to be a fitness instructor (or at least I didn't know that I did) until i joined Diva Den Studio. With a lot of prompting and guidance, I began teaching and getting my fitness certifications shortly after I began. I became consumed with health and fitness and realized that there was a dire need for professionals such as myself to educate, guide and change the way women view health and exercise. You don't have be stuck in that unhealthy cycle anymore and life will only get better when you have found that balance. In the last few years, Diva Den Studio owner, Kristin Nelson has completely transformed this industry and Diva Den Studio has evolved into something amazing right before my eyes. I became co-owner of Diva Den in 2013 and the experience continues to be incredibly rewarding. This is a place where a woman can be anything she wants to be and being strong, sexy and fit is highly encouraged! 

I WANT TO KNOW YOU
 

I strongly believe that things happen for a reason. People or opportunities are strategically placed in your life to help you get from where you are to where you want to be. Perhaps you have been struggling with your weight and don't know where to begin. Maybe you have been working out for a while but have reached a plateau and feel like you need a challenge. Whatever your reason or motivation, I am glad you found me and I am ready to guide you down your health and fitness journey. This journey won't be easy. You will have to get comfortable being uncomfortable and find that inner strength to avoid certain temptations and the discipline to workout even when you don't feel like it. I will push you and challenge you to go beyond your threshold because I know you can do more. It's easy to make excuses to yourself but I will hold you accountable and not let you buy in to what your inner critic has to say. Your body is capable of amazing things and often it's that inner voice that tends to sabotage your potential. Together, we will work towards achieving your health and fitness goals and create lifestyle changes that will get you lasting results. Are you ready to build something together?
 

PROFESSIONAL BIO
 

Keli has been working as a Dance and Fitness Instructor as well as a Personal Trainer at Diva Den Studio, a women only dance and fitness boutique in Portland, OR since November of 2009 and became co-owner in 2014. She was a professional Samba dancer for the Lions of Batucada, a local samba percussion group in Portland, OR for 3 years and continues to share her knowledge and love for dance. Her education includes but is not limited to:
 

  • ACE Certified Personal Trainer

  • ACE Certified Health Coach

  • Certified Professional Coach

  • Energy Leadership Index - Master Practitioner 

  • Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified

  • Behavior Change in Exercise Certified through PTA Global

  • Licensed to Teach, Strong by Zumba™, Basic 1, Basic 2, Zumba® Kids, Zumba® Gold, Zumba® Toning