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

Hi Natalie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Ambition. My mother was an immigrant to this country and a single mother of six. As the eldest, I adopted mature responsibilities at an early age and helped raise my five siblings as she worked full-time, studied the English language, and ultimately graduated with a Microbiology degree from UCLA. Her drive and ability to overcome inexplicable challenges greatly influenced me and translated into my own work habits. I am who I am because of my mother and she is the motivation behind my success.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started dancing ballet at the age of two and transitioned into ballroom and Latin dance into my teenage years. Overwhelmed by school, dance, music lessons, and struggles at home, I rebelled and ran away at the age of fifteen. I lived in a household where I was physically abused on a daily basis, blackmailed, and held hostage from family, friends, and my passion, dance. I endured this trauma for five years until I finally had the courage to leave. Having liberated myself gave me the ambition strive even harder; I studied diligently at Santa Monica College, immersed myself in extra-curriculars, and was ultimately accepted into UCLA as a linguistics major. Dance was an escape from my troubled past and paved the way for personal growth. To this day, it allows me to express myself and honor my mother who dreamed of being a dancer. I have since learned various techniques in modern dance and various cultural dance styles and have performed in many renowned theaters in the United States and internationally. Whenever I’m feeling down, I remind myself that I have come so far and have accomplished more than I ever dreamed I could. I have met so many beautiful souls in the world of dance and have had many opportunities come my way due to hard work and persistence. Being an artist is in my nature. When I am not dancing, I am modeling, drawing, studying, traveling, and photographing. My challenges have undoubtedly made me a strong and resilient woman, but more importantly, they serve as motivation for those in troubled environments or on non-traditional paths to pursue a successful future.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles holds many hidden gems, some I have yet to discover in my 29 years of living here! Millie’s Cafe in Echo Park is my favorite brunch spot. The food is fresh and made from scratch which, in my opinion, sets is apart from many restaurants. The Grove in West Hollywood is a fun outdoor mall and replicates a European atmosphere. With plenty of restaurants and shops around, you can spend hours shopping or just grabbing a coffee from one of the cafes and people watch. The Griffith Observatory is a great place to hike to, have a peaceful picnic, and get a panoramic view of the city at any time of day. Meanwhile on the other side of town, there’s nothing as relaxing as laying on one of our beaches and soaking in the warm sun. The food scene in LA is nothing without its Mexican taco trucks. Leo’s Tacos is by far my favorite place to grab some Al Pastor tacos (the best in town, you can’t convince me otherwise) paired with red and green salsa, and of course some horchata. LA is definitely known for its sunsets; whether you’re on the east side or west, you will almost always witness a gorgeous sky of color at dawn. I have been going to the the Vista Theater since I was a child. I just love the look of vintage cinemas as they transport you to a different era in time. For night life, I’m a huge fan of Clifton’s Republic in DTLA. This iconic club has three floors catering to different moods featuring a dance club, a swing dance room, and a tiki lounge.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a shoutout to Irina Sergian, my mother. She has sacrificed a lot to put me through dance and music lessons growing up. She is a constant motivation for me and I always look up to her.

Instagram: Instagram.com/natalie_vivien

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/natalie-serguian

Image Credits
Anna Sargsyan Ani Bagdasaryan Zara Alina Mo

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.