Call it fate, but when Kelsey Kneeland was five years old, she would only wear white sneakers to her first few dance classes. Why commit to buying ballet slippers before she was sure the class would be a worthwhile investment? Even then, the tyke had a nose for business.
Turns out, she had feet made for dancing, too. Ballet, jazz, tap, modern — Kelsey studied them all at the Dance It Up studio in Grafton, Massachusetts, from first grade to high school graduation. But when she wasn't nailing pirouettes and pivot steps, she was honing her entrepreneurial skills. At summer camp, Kelsey launched Fluff 'N Stuff, her brand of hand-sewn pillows, which she sold to counselors and campers. Such résumé builders earned her admission to Babson College, where she majored in strategic management and, with her classmates, kicked off another company called One-Swipe, a special card-holder for student IDs.
Despite a head for spreadsheets, Kelsey is a performer at heart — on stage and off. This winter, she auditioned for a slot in the Rev Girls, the brand ambassadors and cheerleaders for the New England Revolution professional soccer team. Who makes the cut? Girls who excel at team trivia knowledge, overall appearance, crowd interaction, and group cheering. In true form, Kelsey researched the team stats, sized up her competition, and, of course, rocked a few killer moves. Along with being an entrepreneur, Kelsey is now a Rev Girl — and back to wearing white sneakers again.