We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Mariela Bermeo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jennifer Mariela, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
Where I’m from made everything I am, as I think it does most people. I was born in Newark, NJ and moved to Lincroft, NJ when I was about 2 years old. To me, New Jersey feels like most indie movies about NJ. (What can I say my older brother taught me well- He owns Zerokid in Jersey City – go visit, you’ll see what I mean.) By chance, I started dancing at 3 years old and my interest in dance would eventually lead me to NYC. My parents would take me into the city most weekends taking classes from the country’s best teachers. Soon I started studying acting and modeling as I started high school, but by junior year dance took the forefront. Beyond where I’m from, my heritage plays a big role in my identity as I’m a first-generation Ecuatoriana. First-gen kids get what this means most, our parents journeys and the sacrifices they have made to provide us a better life, giving us an opportunity to be whatever our hearts desire. Spanish was my first language, embarrassingly enough I lost a lot of it as I did my best to assimilate to American culture growing up in the suburbs of NJ. Kids like me weren’t common where I grew up but I didn’t give it too much thought because what really made me everything I am is the passion I had for dance. That passion drove me and gave me a sense of direction. Somehow life blessed me with stumbling upon a sense of purpose at 3. I couldn’t imagine my life without dance, it’s as integral a part of who I am as is where I’m from. And where I came from has contributed to much of my success as a dancer. New York City’s best dance training was just a quick train ride away. I’d spend my weekends training with the country’s best. Whatever it took, I just had to give this thing I love to do everything I’ve got. If you ever find something that brings you that feeling – never let it go. Fight for it with everything you’ve got. We’re only here once.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My life as an artist began as a dancer. The stage was my first safe haven and dance my chosen expression. And it’s been the ride of a lifetime. From touring the world to creating behind the camera, it’s been the adventure of a lifetime and I’m so grateful to it every day. But the journey hasn’t always been easy. All of the lessons I’ve learned throughout my life as a dancer has led me to create Make Your Move, my business as a career coach for dancers. While I have a degree in dance, most of my success in the business came from what I’ve learned outside of school. Paying your dues is an education. There are many skill sets required in working professionally as a dancer beyond technique, skills and industry know how that will make or break working and getting hired time and time again. It’s my mission to leave my clients well prepared for success and get them the results they seek. As for my work as an artist, its ever eloving. Dance was the driving force that led me to this point. I’m excited to see what other passions join in this next chapter.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
What a loaded question! Everyone knows pressure’s on when friends come to visit – LA just has so much to see and do! Off the top of my head, LA recs: Melrose Umbrella Company for Penicillins, Messhall Kitchen for Tuesday’s $1 Oysters, MASA Pizza, a night of pool at the OG Barney’s Beanery. You can’t go wrong, every neighborhood has something to do. Then get up and go for a hike, doesn’t get more LA than that. (Grab an Alfred matcha oat milk latte for the ultimate combo- it’s worth the hype.) If you’re looking to laugh go to Groundlings, UCB, Second City or any comedy in LA really. If you’re looking to get swept away in LALAland go to the movies. Or take a drive down Sunset to the beach. I think that’s part of the beauty here, everywhere you look could be the scene of a movie.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I think my family will always be at the top of this list! I consider myself very lucky that my parents and brother have always encouraged me to not only dream big but to go out and just do it. This support has fueled me throughout many moments in my life: when I decided to study dance in college, first started working professionally, decided to move to Los Angeles, and so many more. Without their support and encouragement, the road definitely would have been a lot harder. Whether we need it or not, support helps fuel dreams. For this reason, I’ll add my friends and all my great teachers to this category as well.

Website: www.jennifermarielabermeo.com

Instagram: @jennifermariela

Image Credits
Alli Nurthen

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.