LUX Life: Dancer and Choreographer Reina Hidalgo
When she’s not performing and choreographing for the stars, Reina Higaldo hits the local Los Angeles gems that you need to know about.
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Bold. Vibrant. And a stunning visual treat for the senses. Dancer and choreographer Reina Hidalgo never ceases to disappoint on the dance floor, red carpet, or even a casual L.A. dinner party with her fierce and chic aesthetic and style. As a principal dancer for some of the hottest concert tours of the past five years (she’s danced and performed for everyone from Pink to Rihanna and just about every major awards show on air) and as the choreographer and consulting producer of the Emmy-nominated hit show East Los High, Reina’s impeccable taste and perspective represent L.A.’s unique international and eclectic vibe. When you spend time with Reina, it feels as if you just visited the hottest spots in Miami, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and London all at once and yet you still have the relaxed creative cosmopolitan cool of L.A. This rare combination reflects Reina’s vast travel experiences on tour and her genuine love of L.A.
Based in Venice near the always desirable Abbot Kinney Blvd filled with some of the city’s best cafes and shops, and frequently working in L.A.’s coveted downtown and East Side neighborhoods, Reina’s favorite Los Angeles must-experience destinations are a true blend of L.A. culture. When you check out any of the spots on Reina’s LUX Life Guide below, you’ll be in the know of L.A.’s up and coming creative hot spots, dancing your way through it all.
The Container Yard
Want to know what happens when a former warehouse with containers is transformed into a creative event and art space in Los Angeles? Welcome to The Container Yard- an amazing indoor and outdoor grounds that hosts art shows, live music, and more. With murals everywhere and an infectious collaborative and artistic energy, L.A.’s open-minded and experimental attitude is ever present at The Container Yard. “The Container Yard has only been around for about a year and it’s already one of my favorite spots in the city. With murals on the walls (my friend Kim recently had a mural done of her there) and the former warehouse containers being transformed into greenhouses, shops, and more, you can’t help but being inspired creatively when you’re there. I recently saw another friend (an artist who does live interactive looming) display her work there and it made me want to go back and shoot there and do a live performance and just create. One thing to note about The Container Yard is that it’s not open every day to the public and is only open for events so when you hear of an event there, you’ve got to go."
Mystic Journey Bookstore
Common shops there. So does Sandra Bullock. And don’t be surprised when you see Robert Downey Jr. or Vanessa Hudgens in the aisles browsing next to you. Welcome to the Mystic Journey Bookstore, a go-to bookstore for self-help books, gifts, and more for Angelenos. Located on the Abbot Kinney strip in Venice and just three blocks from Reina’s house, this is where Reina begins a perfect day off. “The Mystic Journey Bookstore is where I go to recharge and I buy everything from incense, to inspirational gifts for friends, and for myself. You’ll definitely want to pick up the Indian Temple scent incense, and their crystals are gorgeous. Each one of them symbolizes something different and my friends have loved when I’ve gifted them with rose quartz crystals, which symbolize romantic love, or white quartz crystals which symbolize clearing old energy out. And if you are into self-help or inspiration books, you could spend countless hours here. I certainly have.”
Latin Sounds At LACMA
With world-renowned Latin artists set among the gorgeous outdoor grounds of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), this festival-esque event of live music and dance is part of why L.A. summers are in a league of their own. From 5-7pm every Saturday from Memorial Day until Labor Day, this is where Reina gets her salsa on. “It’s not summer in L.A. without the live Latin Sounds at LACMA. I’ve been going for the past two years and this summer will be no exception. Trust me when I say, you’ll want to grab your friends, your family, blankets, and a good bottle of wine because there’s nothing like watching the city of L.A. dance, and also getting to dance in the outdoors with everyone else as well. From 5-7pm, starting in June until the end of September, this free event is not to be missed.”
Smack dab among the bright lights of the Sunset Strip is Fork Sunset. A hidden gem of a restaurant and bar, it puts the happy in happy hour and unlike most destinations on Sunset, it requires no dress code or expectations of what to wear. And with refreshing cocktails with a strong Greek influence, it’s the only restaurant bar in L.A. that is open until 4am. “Fork Sunset is where I go to relax and kick back with really fresh cocktails with organic ingredients. I love Sula, the owner, who always knows how to have a great conversation and is so attentive of her customers. She once made me a custom cocktail with fresh raspberries, strawberries, and organic honey and I still can remember how good it was. This is where you’ll want to go when you need to refuel with a chill and refreshing drink and atmosphere."
Only in L.A. can you dig into Indian food with local, sustainable, and organic ingredients with a serious chef (Chef Pav has been cooking for over 40 years) that’s owned by a former hip-hop DJ with graffiti on the walls. Based in L.A.’s hotter than ever DTLA (that’s what Angelenos call downtown L.A.), the hip Badmaash is what Reina craves on her days off and after a long day of rehearsals. “Badmaash hits the spot every time. I seriously love Indian food and their food is just incredible. You have to get the butter chicken, the garlic naan, and enjoy it with a glass of red wine. I have that every time. And the lamb skewers, make sure you get them at least once because they’re that good.”