Veteran BlazerDancer Leisel
is back for her 7th season in the Rose Garden!
Born and raised in Portland, Leisel has spent a good portion of her dance career anywhere but her native northwest. Beginning her dance journey at the age of three, she danced at a studio “for forever,” taking tap, jazz, hip hop and ballet before joining the Tigard High School Tigerettes. During those years she also danced at pre-professional company Dance West before heading out to travel wherever dance would take her.
Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles was Leisel’s next stop, she studied dance there for a year. It was during her summer break back in Portland when she saw a flyer for BlazerDancers auditions at a local 24 Hour Fitness and thought “I have to do that.”
Do that she did. Leisel made the team on her first audition and spent the next three seasons glitzing up the court and entertaining the Blazer faithful. Ready for another change she took a job dancing on a cruise ship for Princess Cruises.
After two years on the seas she returned to the BlazerDancers for another season, the one which holds her favorite memory. “There was one time we showed up to a game, there was a surprise concert that we found out about right when we got to the court,” Leisel said. The surprise concert was by The O’Jays, famous for Love Train—‘People all over the world, join hands, start a love train!’
“The exciting part for me was that we got to dance with them at halftime and be their back up dancers and we made a soul train all around the floor,” Leisel explained. “That was probably one of the coolest things ever because I’m obsessed with oldies. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! It doesn’t get much better than this!’”
Following her memorable 4th season as a BlazerDancer Leisel was given the opportunity to study at the Ford Dancer Center on a scholarship. She seized the moment and moved to Redondo Beach. “I decided I needed a change so I went down to LA and danced my life away,” she said.
A year later she returned to Princess Cruises and following that stint decided she was ready to come home. Since returning to Portland Leisel has been a BlazerDancer for two more seasons and this year she will enjoy her 7th year dancing in black and red.
Welcome back Leisel!
Check out a full photo gallery of Leisel
and meet BlazerDancer Nina