We had the good fortune of connecting with Amorita Ledesma and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amorita, what matters most to you?
Staying true to yourself. Having a strong sense of conviction. Practicing your authenticity. Maintaining your dignity.
That’s more than one principle, but it’s all the same.
I think growing up the way I did gave me perspective. I got to experience two polar opposite sides of life and types of people. I saw how people flipped and changed based on how they wanted people to perceive them and how people treated me based on how they perceived me. But it’s all different, and absolutely none of it is in our control. The only thing you have control over is who you are and how you treat people. And when you know who you are and you carry yourself that way, you start attracting those who appreciate the same things. You start building your community of people who practice that mutual and genuine respect…And that community is so important.
I look at those same experiences, successes, and failures now; they shaped my life and all of it happened because I remained true to myself. I’m very proud of that.
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.
My art is ever evolving. A couple of years ago, I thought that my dance career was coming to a full stop. I was doing it as a job and a responsibility, instead of doing it because I loved it and because it was fun. I always had this thought that as I got older, I would just get worse. I thought that the younger dancers who had the energy and time and hunger would surpass my passion with their skill. I now know that this was something I was just telling myself, to somehow prepare for the closing of an important chapter.
Once the pandemic hit, we couldn’t dance, travel or work. I stopped dancing for the first time in my life and got to actually think about what I wanted to do, as opposed to what I had to do. I always knew I wanted to work in fashion. I always had odd jobs and projects working towards that goal, but dancing always took precedence. Instead of using my free time in quarantine to dance, I spent it reading blogs on designers and stylists in the industry, making Pinterest boards and flipping through all my old magazines. I started working with photographers to produce my own shoots (for fun) and I loved it! But because I didn’t understand how to create a concept or story behind the clothes, I was simply taking pictures of beautiful people in cool outfits. They were not great…I had no idea what I was doing, but I trusted my taste, I sought out criticism and I got better. I still am.
This is, what I think, sets me apart. Because we are living in a generation where “gatekeepers” aren’t as prominent, our respective industries have become so saturated. If you want to record an album, you can just do it. Make a brand? Sure. While this is amazing and has given many deserving artists the opportunities that they would have not had otherwise, I often see a lot of creatives skipping all of the important steps that it takes to really develop their voice. I believe that there is still merit in being a student first, in mastering your craft and to constantly take in criticism. Not everyone is the “GOAT” like we so often claim, but with time and knowledge, everyone has the potential to be.
The further I dive into the art of styling, the more my love grows for dance and vise versa. I now find myself craving to dance, to move and connect with my body like I haven’t in a long time. And with that, I’ve found that my choreography has so much more meaning and my classes have so much more to offer. I’m much more confident, passionate and most importantly, I’m having fun! I have styling to thank for that.
I don’t believe that my work will stop at these two art forms. I think I will definitely dive into others, but I will do so while respecting the culture of it, welcoming criticism and with the goal of making an impact. I will always be a dancer, a stylist and an artist. Even though its taken me years of imposter syndrome to finally admit it!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Number one is the beach. La Jolla, Del Mar, Coronado, any and all of them. Whatever the weather or time of the day is, my favorite thing is to grab snacks and head to the beach. Number two is coffee. I would take them to Por Vida in Logan Heights or La Colombe in La Jolla.
Since we’re in San Diego, we have to enjoy the fresh seafood and Mexican food! I love Blue Water Seafood Market. They have the best fish tacos. I would also have to make a stop at El Pescador in La Jolla. The fish is the freshest and their portions are big. My favorite sushi spot is a little hole in the wall called Sushi Ota. It’s a small place with the best quality sushi I’ve had in SD. As for Mexican food, I love Lolita’s, Vallarta’s, Marisco’s, or any taco shop further down south! It can’t beat my mom’s home cooking though. She makes the best rice, beans, salsa and horchata.
Saturdays/Sundays are where I hit all my favorite spots! A perfect weekend would start with an early trip to Craft and Commerce for a breakfast cocktail (lol) before we walk to the Little Italy or Hillcrest farmers market to eat, drink and shop. My favorite combo. There is also a spot called Madison on Park. I don’t know if its the ambience or the green mimosas, but it’s one of my go-to brunch spots. I would also have to make time to drink a couple beers in the garden at Panama 66. It’s a restaurant/bar in Balboa Park where I always go to enjoy the weather and beer! You’re not supposed to eat while sitting in the garden, but we could probably sneak in a deli sandwich from Mona Lisa’s or a couple slices from Bronx Pizza.
For the evening, you can’t go wrong with North Park. There are so many bars and breweries to walk around to; Polite Provisions being a classic spot. Close by is Stella Jean’s, where I always get the vegan mango and sticky rice ice cream. It’s the best and I eat the whole pint in one sitting. I wish all of my favorite things didn’t involve food, but hey it is what it is what it is!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I really stand on the shoulders of giants.
My family is Choreo Cookies. They’re everything to me. Love, loyalty, accountability. I grew up with them and because of them. They will always be a part of my story.
My heart is Gwownups. I do everything with them in mind. They have been some of my best teachers. I live and die to see their successes!
Future is Color is where my passion lies. Jam Zumel and Erwin Hines have instilled so much confidence in my ability as an artist. Not only have they given me sense of family outside of my dance community (which I didn’t think was possible), but they have given me the honor of fulfilling a dream; to be a part of something incredibly impactful.
My mom is the ultimate woman. My brother is the ultimate artist. My boyfriend is the ultimate hype man.
But in the words of Snoop Dogg, I’d like to thank me! Remember, people can give you an opportunity but it’s up to you to show up and kill it or don’t.
Ivan Ji (Future is Color pics) Steezy (action shot) Carlo Aranda (bball boys/boys sitting)