IT Marketing Manager By Day, Dancer By Night: How Monica Hogan Manages Her Double Life

As someone who's read countless self-help books on getting things done with the hopes that I'll finally...get stuff done, I'm always looking for some inspiration to be more productive. Despite all the lists, meditation exercises, and lifehacks I've tried, I've learned that nothing works like inspiration in the form of successful women who are able to balance multiple successful endeavors. And no one better fits that description than Monica Hogan, who's able to balance a successful career in IT marketing with running her own dance company. As U.S. Marketing Team Lead for IT organization, FDM Group, and Artistic Director of Monica Hogan Danceworks, she's somehow able to excel in both activities-- both managing IT marketing teams across the nation and creating stunning dance performances. How does this "double agent" fit it all in? Rimmel London and Bustle sat down with her to discuss her inspirations, her attitude towards free time and productivity, and how she manages to make it all work with only 24-hours in a day.

For those of us who are struggling to find more hours in the day, Monica reminds us that with some effort and consistent motivation, we can find the time to achieve our goals. Read on to learn what keeps her going and how she manages it all while staying sane.

On Founding Her Own Dance Company

It's hard to emphasize enough how heavy the workload is when you run your own company, even one in the arts. Monica explains, "As the founder of my own dance company, the type of work I do ranges far and wide. At its core, my job is to choreograph and stage works on the company, but beyond that there's a lot of work that goes into booking gigs, raising money, and building the brand." These tasks include writing grant applications, applying for performance opportunities, maintaining her website and social media channels and more. In addition to these tasks, she also teaches dance and freelances as a performer.

Monica's been choreographing for as long as she can remember. "My work has come a long way (I hope!) since those living room performances at family holiday gatherings," she jokes. When she first moved to New York, she dove right into the dance community by taking classes, performing and teaching. "I still felt a small void" she elaborates. "I missed creating. Monica Hogan Danceworks was born shortly thereafter as a way to channel my choreographic voice and stage works of my own again."

Her Look: Night Vs. Day

As she work in the IT industry, her 9-5 is fairly no-nonsense and calls for minimal makeup. Beyond a light application of foundation, some mascara and lip balm, her morning routine is quick and seamless. Her minimal look is also a direct product of her late nights spent running her dance company. But for performances? It's here when she's able to eschew her more conservative day look for a bold makeup look. "In that case...out come the heavy duty eyeliner, mascara and lipstick!"

Her Biggest Inspirations

Monica's finds herself inspired by everything around her— a perspective that helps her with choreography and with the motivation to keep going. When asked what her biggest inspiration is, she answers, "Life! The world around us. People. Relationships. Themes of the human experience." Likewise, she finds inspiration in her relationship with her parents. "My parents are hands down my biggest inspiration. They are two of the hardest working and most compassionate people you could ever meet, and I grew up always striving to emulate those qualities I saw in them."

People's Reaction To Her Double Life

As you'd probably guess, there aren't many IT professionals who sideline as founders of their own dance companies. Monica finds joy in surprising her peers with details of her second life. "People are surprised at first, yes. At work people tend to find out through casual conversation. When it comes to the "any plans for this evening/weekend" chit-chat, I'm more often than not headed off to rehearsal or a show! I am pretty open about discussing both sides of my "double life". I don't feel like it's something that I need to hide or be ashamed of, and I am very lucky to work for a company like FDM that is supportive of me working on passion projects in my own time." Interestingly, its her fellow dancers who are more surprised at her career in IT marketing. "The fact that I do marketing for an IT company just doesn't naturally work itself into studio conversation as often," she laughs.

Her Double Life's Affect On Her Career

When asked whether dance has affected her career, Monica answers, "Immensely. I feel that my upbringing in dance has imparted a number of skills that are valuable for any industry of work. Dancers develop a lot of discipline and persistence. My dance background taught me to be open and receptive to constructive criticism; I try not to take critique personally and instead look at feedback as a means for growth. And it goes vice-versa. My work at FDM has ranged from copy writing, advertising, PR, event planning, etc. FDM has helped me build a lot of skills that have helped me in my dance-world pursuits."


When asked what time of day she's most productive during, she states "Definitely at night. In most cases you can't rent studios in the early hours before the working day, which means I have to make the most of my evenings." Many people may not realize, but only top dance studios actually have their own studio spaces, with smaller groups having to rely on renting studios during the hours they're available. Despite working late into the night, she still manages to wake up earlier than most of us, waking up around "between 6:45 and 7am." Though it is comforting that like the rest of us, she leans heavily on a cup of caffeine. "The first thing I do [in the morning]? Hard to recall -- I don't remember anything that happens before that first cup of coffee."

Future Goals

Finally, Monica's goals for the future revolve around her dance company. "The company is definitely working towards a goal of presenting our own full evening production in New York," she says. Something tells us that Monica's drive and discipline are the perfect ingredients to make this dream a reality in the near future.

This is a sponsored post with Rimmel London.

Images: Monica Hogan