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Daily Inspiration: Meet Michelle Leagans

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Leagans.

Hi Michelle, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I moved to the Houston area around 20 years ago. It was a very anxious time for me as I did not know anyone here. I took my first step and auditioned for the very first Houston Texans Cheerleader team and was honored to be chosen as one of the 35 dancers to represent the organization for two years. After this incredible opportunity, I began teaching and doing choreography in studios and high schools. Currently, I get to work with dancers and directors at around 40 schools all across the state of Texas.

Around 5 years ago, I realized how competitive and intense dance classes were becoming and it triggered feelings I had as a dancer growing up. Dancers should be able to train and take class in a positive and inspirational atmosphere. At that moment, I decided I wanted to start a dance intensive that allowed everyone to feel happy and motivated by the people around them. Power Intensives developed from this vision and started with very small classes in dance studios and with me teaching all classes. After a year I took the chance and moved them into high school gyms, added guest instructors, and a live DJ.

Throughout the past 5 years, it has been such a blessing to watch these dance intensives change and grow. We now offer 10 events throughout the state during the year with instructors that travel from across the country to be here with the dancers. Kaotik DJs has now been with us for 4 years and helps design lighting for our events that creates the most unique atmosphere for the dancers to feel inspired. Everyone that attends receives shirts they wear at the event to help create unity. Power Intensives believes dance is about the people you get to be with along your journey and not about the trophies you win. Scholarships are given at each event as well to give dancers who show others compassion and inspire everyone in the room a chance to continue their dance education. One of the other opportunities Power Intensives provides is our Assistant program. We have both Junior and Senior Assistants that are chosen to be ambassadors for the organization. These dancers are truly a family and are such an inspiration to all dancers who come to a Power Intensive. I am so thankful to the Houston dance community and the way they have embraced me over the years and helped me bring my passion project into existence. Through all the trials and tribulations of owning a business, I have never once doubted the path I was on. Thankful to wake up every day to a job I love.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It is certainly not easy to create your own business. I had so much to learn about social media, marketing, and branding. Technology has never been easy to me. When you are starting you have to do everything on your own and I remember staring at the computer trying to build my very first website with tears in my eyes. I went to college and received my degree in dance education so the teaching part of my job I had confidence in. I really struggled getting my name out there and branding my business correctly. I am so happy I went through those experiences as I learned so much about myself and what I was capable of. Now the marketing side is fun, and I am truly enjoying the process. My other struggle is comparing myself to others. My industry is extremely competitive and social media can make this really hard. I work every day on staying on my path and believing in my visions. I imagine all business owners go through this as it is truly human nature. Creating Power Intensives was a true dream for me, so when I feel myself getting down or feeling as if I am not good enough, I remember how I began. Seeing the dancers in my classes smile and watching them make new friends is my pure motivation.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I started on my dance journey as a performer. I cheered for both the NBA and the NFL and danced for theme parks such as Busch Gardens and Six Flags. I absolutely loved being in front of an audience. There is nothing like feeling your hard work pay off than an audience of 80,000 at an NFL game cheering. Deep down though, my passion was always about choreography. When I was little, I would go in my basement and put music on and pretend I was creating dances. Honestly, I was never the best dancer in the room, but my passion and love for it was why I think I stood out.

For the longest time in Houston, I was known for being a tap teacher and choreographer. As I moved into the drill team world though tap was not done very much so I went back to my dance team roots and began to choreograph in jazz, lyrical, and pom. I love big groups and I think that is what sets me apart from others. Formations and patterns are so much fun to me. I find it fascinating to create pictures and images in choreography.

Moving to Texas opened my eyes to this amazing drill team community. I am blown away by these incredible dancers and directors and how much work goes into all they do. Creating relationships with these teams is incredible and watching their hard work and dedication to their craft is so impressive. I am so honored to travel the state and meet dancers and watch their determination firsthand. I am proud to think of the journey over the last 20 years that has gotten me here. From moving to Houston and being terrified, to now working with thousands of dancers every year. I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years have in store.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
The main advice I would give someone starting out is to believe in yourself and create your own distinct path. It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted my message to be as a business owner. My industry is full of amazing and talented people, so I worked hard to create something that was unique to me. It is easy to copy what everyone else is doing, but the challenge I found was creating something that made me happy. It was not always about fitting in but separating myself by loving what I was doing. I would also advise to be careful with social media. Some of my hardest days are when I let social media bring me down. It is such a great platform to share your brand and who you are, but it can also make you feel like you are not good enough. We all have experienced those days, and you can’t move forward if you stay in that moment. Unfortunately, I still have those days, so I watch videos or look at pictures from things I have accomplished to help remind me of my goals.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Gilded Sun Photography
Fluid Frames Dance Photography
Kaotik DJs

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