We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Leagans and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I love this question because it is truly something I have struggled with in my career. I believed when I moved to Houston 20 years ago, that how much you worked was a sign of if you were successful. It has taken me many years to understand that success is defined very differently. Our social media universe has made everything a competition. This leads to burnout and a work schedule that is not fulfilling. The dance industry in Houston is full of amazing and talented choreographers and instructors. I have realized that I want to be the best version of myself in my career and not compete to be successful.
I started Power Intensives about 5 years ago and it helped me understand so much about work and life together. I also got married in October last year which put my life into perspective. My family and my career are both important, but the balance is always a struggle. I work very hard to create a schedule that allows for vacations, dinners at home, and time to spend with everyone I love. Because of this, the balance makes me a better choreographer and role model to the dancers I work with. I want them to see that balance is the key to success. Not how many dances I choreograph, but the quality of work I create, and the happiness life brings me because of it. Plus, I care a great deal about longevity in my career. Balance is the key to me getting to do my job as long as possible.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
From the time I was little all I wanted to do was dance. I started dancing when I was three years old because my legs were turned in. I am now 46 and still love it as much as I did back then. I love waking up every single day to a job that inspires me and helps me grow.
I was told when I decided to get my degree in Dance from Oklahoma City University that I would never succeed. Dancers do not make money and it is not a true career. I knew in my heart this wasn’t true. How could I love something so much and not be successful? This has been my motivation every day since those comments were made to me. Was it always easy in this type of career? Absolutely not! There were days I lived on very little money and struggled on what was next in my future. I learned that performing was amazing, but my heart was in choreography and teaching. So, I set my goals and moved to Houston. After becoming a Houston Texans Cheerleader, I created my path and really focused on how to get to know more dancers in the city. I started teaching and working with high school drill teams which has become my passion. I currently choreography for over 50 drill teams across the state and work with them on their competition pieces. Each of these teams is so special and unique, that my job is constantly different every day. It is always challenges and pushes me too constantly be better.
This year I became Michelle Leagans LLC. This had been a dream of mine for a while, and I am thrilled it finally came true. Power Intensives is under this company and is my passion project for dancers across Texas. Creating this and seeing it come to life is so incredible to me. There are hurdles every day and anxiety of wanting to build something that will make a difference. What I have learned is that as long as I stay true to my mission and what I want for every dancer that attends, then I will be successful. Building this brand has been the next stage in my career and I am loving every minute.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Houston is full of incredible things to do and see. As a Houston sports fan, I would love for them to come and watch live sports here in town. There is nothing better than experiencing our sports teams in person. The Houston Rodeo is a must! I love the Barbeque Cook-off as well. Nothing better than Texas BBQ at the rodeo.
My favorite areas are Vintage Park and main street Tomball. The cutest restaurants, stores, and great places to sit outside and visit. The Empty Glass in Tomball is my favorite wine bar with great outside seating and live music. Taste of Texas and Perry’s are definitely the places to go for a great steak dinner.
And you can never go wrong with some shopping at the Galleria! This is a full day experience and a great time with friends.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to the amazing people who have helped me create and grow Power Intensives over the past 5 years. First, Kaotiks DJ’s for bringing music and lighting to my events in a way that makes us special. Crystal of Gilded Sun Photography for always supporting through her incredible pictures and love of dancers who attend the intensives. The guest teachers who come from across the country to share their talents with the beautiful dancers in Texas. The Junior and Senior Assistants who work so hard to be the best ambassadors possible and who have become family to me. Posh and Prissy designs for their hard work on all the swag, shirts, and marketing for Power Intensives. Last but not least, my incredible husband who believes in me and my mission every single day, I could never be where I am today without this amazing group of people. There is nothing better than growing something special together,
Instagram: @michelleleagans @power_intensives
Facebook: Michelle Leagans Dance and Choreography
Gilded Sun Photography Nikki Guest Photography Fluid Frames