Leanne Tessa: life as a student and entertainer

LEANEE LANG

By Faith Oak

From writing songs, filming music videos, and creating a brand to waking up early for school and finding time for homework, senior Leanne Langston has grown used to a fast-paced daily schedule. Doing it all requires frequent and seamless transitions from student to work mode. It is a lot to juggle, but Langston has learned to handle social media fame and a career with Disney with poise.

Langston’s career kicked off at an early age. She began dancing at the age of five, starting with ballet and picking up hip hop along the way. She made her way up through competitions and joined her first dance agency by the time she was eleven years old.

“I was at a convention where there were choreographers who worked for Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce. I was lucky enough to get my first agent there, and I toured with them for a bit. I was fortunate. It’s always about meeting the right people,” Langston said.

Since then, her stage name, “Leanne Tessa,” has become
well known on social media. Most recently, Langston was a “Mouseketeer” on the show “Club Mickey Mouse,” Disney’s reboot of the popular 1990’s “The All New Mickey MouseClub” that starred future celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera.

The first season aired for seven weeks in 2017. Unlike typical Disney sitcoms, it was created entirely for social feeds in order to cater to the younger, online generation. Video clips were released daily on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Throughout the course of the show, Langston and seven other teen Mouseketeers wrote songs, choreographed dances, and filmed new music videos every week. As one of the four singers, Langston wrote and recorded original songs for the show. The production aired all of the preparations and behind the scenes clips throughout the week until Fridays, when they shot the music videos.

Even after production has stopped, Langston still has a brand to keep up, which includes frequent dance classes, rehearsals, and interviews. Her debut single, “Runnin’,” was released in March.

As much of a dream as Disney stardom may appear, the job doesn’t come without its own difficulties. In an age of social media, there is always the struggle of online hate and disapproval.

“It’s just me and my mom. We have this thing where we say, ‘it’s you and me against the world.’ And that along with balancing my school and a normal high school life while trying to pursue my career, it gets to be a lot,” Langston said.

However, she learned how to balance her full schedule and personal and professional life from an early age in order to be successful today as both an actress and high school student. Despite any hate, the social media aspect of her work has brought a lot of positivity too.

“You do what you do, right? After a while you get used to it, and it’s easy for it to start to just feel normal. But when people reach out to me, when they send me DM’s and clips of themselves covering my songs and doing my dances, it makes me feel really good. Like I’m doing something right,” Langston said.

As she gets ready for life as a college student, Langston will keep doing what she loves  and pursuing her career in the entertainment industry. She has a solid start with Disney, but the future is full of possibilities.

“I’m definitely going to keep giving the industry a chance. It’s my love,” Langston said.

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