Michelle Manzanales

Episode 54: Dancers, Can They be Financially Stable?

Meet Michelle Manzanales, a dancer and choreographer who studied finance but chose to develop a career in Dance despite the financial insecurity associated with artistic careers.

Michelle was born and raised in Houston, TX to a Mexican-american family. She started dancing at age 3, and has not stopped since. Michelle graduate with a degree in finance from the University of Houston, and tried to have a stable career in the field, but she was always a dancer at heart. 

After a couple of years in the financial sector, Michelle decided that she was going to pursue a career as a dancer, and although she didn’t become a multimillionaire, she was always financially independent. 

Michelle talks about her experience growing up, not feeling proud of her Mexican heritage. It was not until later in life, that she began exploring what being “Ni de aquí, ni de allá” means. Dance has helped Michelle explore that in-between world, and now considers it an asset. 

She is now, the director of Ballet Hispánico’s School of Dance. As a teacher and choreographer, Michelle’s goal is for students to feel safe to show up as their authentic selves, and helps them explore their roots and/or learn more about the Latin culture. 

Michelle also discussed the many transferable skills dancers learn throughout their careers, such as problem-solving, courage, and dealing with rejection. She also has a message for parents of dancers who may be worried about their children’s future: 

“Fear more that your child isn't learning those base skills more than fearing them studying the arts” 

Learn more about Ballet Hispánico here: https://www.ballethispanico.org/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mmanzanales/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellemanzanales/