Dancing is life for veteran BlazerDancer Leisel. An experienced professional, dancing has taken her around the globe and given her a deep appreciation for doing what you love.
“People always say if you can find what you love to do and create it as your job then you’re really lucky,” Leisel said. “So for me I found my favorite thing to do and I have managed to make it a living.”
Dancing has been Leisel’s favorite activity since she started classes at three years old. She trained at Westside Dance Studio through high school and then expanded her dance portfolio as a member of the Tigard High School Dance Team and a student at Arts and Communication High School—a magnet school for the performing arts.
With training in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop and countless other disciplines, Leisel’s made a stop at Dance West, a pre-professional dance company that helped prepare her for professional auditions. It was time well spent as she landed her first professional gig as a BlazerDancer at just nineteen.
“It was my first professional dance job, I got to start at such a young age and I got the practice of performing in front of thousands and thousands of people,” Leisel said. “I was able to take that experience and the professional learning environment with choreographers and your own teammates and use that in other aspects of performing in my other dance jobs. It definitely kick-started everything for me.”
After three exciting seasons with the BlazerDancers Leisel was ready to travel. She joined Princess Cruises and combined two of her passions in life: dancing and seeing the world.
“All I’ve wanted to do my whole entire life is dance, ever since I was in fourth grade all I wanted to do is be a professional dancer and I also had this obsession with traveling and I was able to do traveling and dancing at the exact same time.”
After a year performing elaborate shows with a full cast of singers and dancers Leisel returned to her hometown of Portland and another high-energy season with the BlazerDancers. The year after she headed down to California for an intense dance internship and another stint with the cruise line. All the while improving her skills and loving every moment.
But she couldn’t stay away from Rip City... Last year she returned to the BlazerDancers and the excitement of the Rose Garden and this year, her sixth with the team, she’ll perform again for the sold out arena.
“The second that the crowd starts cheering and you’re going to do opening and run out on the floor, I still get chills and I’ve been doing it for years,” Leisel said. “There’s just something that you can’t explain, it’s not an everyday experience that you get so I feel very lucky and privileged to be a part of that throughout the season.”
Years of hard work and dedication have paid off for Leisel who gets to dance everyday. Living her passion and making herself a successful professional along the way.
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