Leah Kelly Matthews
The Dancer | 40 Under 40 Class of 2020
"Outsource what you don’t enjoy doing or what you’re not good at."
GET TO KNOW LEAH
Leah Kelly Matthews was put in her first dance class at age five and hasn’t stopped dancing since. She has performed in several shows, including The Nutcracker, Cinderella and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She now owns and operates an Atlanta-based dance studio called Studio Go. Keep scrolling to learn more.
What inspired you to go into this line of work?
It’s my passion.
What challenge did you overcome to get where you are today?
I’ve had to start over a few times, but each time made me better and stronger.
Did someone help you get to where you are today, like a mentor?
Yes, I’ve had several inspirational people in my life.
What do you love most about your job?
I get to inspire a new generation of dancers. I also love the flexibility it affords me as a mother.
Early Bird or Night Owl
Mountains or Beach
Dogs or Cats
Left Brain or Right Brain
Stripes or Polka Dots
Boss Lady Icon
Vacation destination: Too many good ones, but some favorites are Amsterdam, Granada, Spain and Manali, India.
Can't Live Without
Coffee, wine, chocolate and Chapstick
Describe yourself in three words.
Passionate, ambitious and adventurous.
Your life philosophy is…
Kitchens are for dancing, and there’s always an excuse for champagne.
What is the best piece of advice you received?
Outsource what you don’t enjoy doing or what you’re not good at.
If someone handed you an airline ticket to a place of your choosing, where would you go and why?
Bali, Indonesia. It’s been on my list for a while. Once there, I’d hop to other places in Asia like Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, etc. And perhaps, to Australia. It’s easy to get to those places from the U.S., so I’d make an entire trip out of it!
What’s something you cannot live without?
Name a book you read that positively shaped you.
“The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin
If you weren’t working in the industry that you are, what would you be doing instead?
I think I would do something in travel or interior design.
How do you unwind or relax after a long day?
Cook a nice dinner and have a glass of wine with my husband.
The most rewarding aspect of your job is…
Touching the lives of young children and empowering other women.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it – metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions – what would it say and why?
“You do you.” So many people get caught up in what others think and that’s just no way to live.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior or habit has most improved your life?
Time blocking. I’m able to accomplish more in less time.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
Get outside. The fresh air and reset help to clear the fog.
What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be money, time, energy, etc.)
I think the biggest/most important investment you can make is in yourself. For me, that’s regular exercise, eating right, massages, meditating and keeping a gratitude journal.
Name a confident woman of character who you look up to? Why her?
Audrey Hepburn (are you sensing a trend?). She devoted her life to kindness and compassion. She was a loving mother and a humanitarian.