We had the good fortune of connecting with Marielle Lesaguis and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marielle, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am originally from Manila Philippines. I was born and raised there. At 11 years old, my family and I migrated here in the States. I feel lucky to say that I was able to experience the culture of my country at a young age. I believe that this had helped sculpt who I am today. You know, certain things are different over there, from the way we speak in terms of including certain “respectful” words like “po” or “opo”. We use this to speak to someone older or when speaking to someone you respect. This alone taught me to always with respect not just to an elderly but to those around me. My upbringing was strict (as usual) and it was frustrating at the time. However, now that I am older — I realized why my parents were strict in the aspect of going out and always wanting me at home to keep me safe. I do think that sometimes the strictness got in the way of so many opportunities that had gone my way and could not engage due to that. But, with that, it made me hungrier to take my own initiative to make things happen for myself.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been dancing my whole life — or should I say since I can remember. But I didn’t take it professionally until I was 18. The reason behind that was because my family couldn’t afford to send me to dance programs or dance schools so once I was able to work, I did just that. I signed myself up to programs that I know would help me excel not just in dance but as a person. Honestly, I think there’s still a long way to go, I’m never settled so I always try to get better in every aspect of dance. I know a lot of people say that, but it’s easier said than done so that’s probably what sets me apart as well. As far as being a creative director, collaborating with different people from different background got me to where I am. I’m an introvert so there’s times where meeting and networking with people can make me super exhausted and can be challenging. However, the outcome of this is always great as you can get new ideas, new projects, and new skills. I’d like the world to know that we all have different ways of approaching our goals in life, but if we all push through during the tough times — there will be fruition.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Places to eat: Eagle Rock / Glendale for some Filipino food. There’s a little hole in the wall restaurant there called “Bulacan Eatery” and their plates are super affordable and pretty damn good! There’s also CHIM! in Pasadena — BEST THAI STREET FOOD hands down!! This is a must if you’re ever in this area. LA’s Grand Central Market is cool too, lots of different choices to choose from and just super laid back. Hang out: Abbot Kinney Blvd is a nice little strip to walk and hang out at. Cute little boutiques and yummy food trucks around! Venice Beach is cool during summer when there’s a basketball league!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Honestly, I would shout out Kobe Bryant. (Rest In Peace Kobe Bryant & Gigi Bryant). Kobe is someone I looked up to since the younger days on and off the court. His demeanor, his approach, and vision were all bigger than basketball. He inspired the world by showing the world that the dream is actually the progress. “The late nights, the times when we feel exhausted to do anything towards that goal but we do it anyway, that’s actually the dream” – Kobe Bryant.

Instagram: marielleles_
Linkedin: Marielle Lesaguis

Image Credits
JD Yambao